In all three cases the women arrested were mothers, or closely related, to their victims. None have been named in order to protect the identity of the minors involved.
In the first case, officers raided a house in Catalunan Pequeño, Davao City, on Wednesday (June 13) and rescued a six-year-old boy who was in the process of being sexually abused on camera. Relatives of the youngster were also taken into protective custody.
According to police, this investigation began after authorities in Sweden arrested a man on suspicion of rape. Investigators then discovered indecent photos inside his phone, which were traced to the Philippines.
Chief Superintendent William Macavinta said: “He has a case of alleged rape abroad. In the cellphone confiscated from him, images were found and they were shared to us by our partners in the foreign law enforcement community. Investigation found that these images were taken in the Philippines via live-streaming.
“It was the mom herself who was involved. The suspect’s face was very clear on the screen.”
Two suspects, including a mother, were caught selling indecent photos of children and relatives in exchange for 3,000 pesos.
Also yesterday, a former call centre agent was arrested in Talisay City. Operatives of the Anti-Cybercrime Group rescued eight children aged from three to 17 during the entrapment operation.
During the entrapment operation, the suspect offered an undercover agent three girls, including a 10-year-old, for online sexual abuse.
After payment was wired to her, law enforcers pounced. The victims are now in the custody of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Cf. Supt. Macavinta said the crimes were particularly shocking due to the involvement of mothers in the abuse. “The ones we expect to protect their children are the ones abusing them,” he said.
He also highlighted the importance of co-operation with overseas law enforcement agencies. “We were also able to help the foreign law enforcement community to strengthen their case against the suspect. In the same manner, we will be able to punish whoever facilitated and provided him with this kind of live show,” he said.
From July 2016 to May 16, 2018, there have been 47 operations against online sexual exploitation of children, in which about 160 minors were rescued. In total, 57 suspects were arrested, 60 have been convicted over the same period.
All of this week’s suspects will be charged with violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and the Anti-Child Pornography Act.