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2 children rescued, 1 suspect arrested during operation vs. online sexual exploitation of children in Metro Manila
Police rescued 2 minors and arrested 1 suspect during an entrapment operation against online sexual exploitation of children in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City yesterday.
Sat Oct 30 20213 min read

CALOOCAN, PHILIPPINES- Police rescued 2 minors and arrested 1 suspect during an entrapment operation against online sexual exploitation of children in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City yesterday.

The said operation was conducted by the Women and Children Protection Center Anti-Trafficking in Person Division (WCPC-ATIPD), led by Police Colonel Maria Sheila Portento, Chief of the ATIPD, under the supervision of Police Brigadier General Alessandro C Abella, Chief of the WCPC in coordination with the North Caloocan Central Police Station (CPS) and North Caloocan City Social Welfare Division (CSWD) with the support of International Justice Mission (IJM) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

This case originated from the United States, which is considered a demand-side country for trafficking online sexual exploitation of children, wherein FBI agents were able to arrest an American national for suspicion of facilitating cybersex crimes involving minors. The case was then referred to the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center for further investigation of the local trafficker.

Brigadier General Abella had this to say:

I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the men and women of the WCPC wherein they have once again answered their call of duty in arresting the suspect who would dare to do these crimes to her own niece and cousin. As the elder guardian of these two girls, she was supposed to be taking care of them, but instead she did the opposite and exploited them online for monetary gain. We won't stop until all are free from online sexual exploitation of children.

The arrest took place at around 3:30 p.m. in one of the barangays within the city. During that time, a lone 39-year-old female suspect was taken into police custody. Rescued at the scene were 2 female victims who were the suspect's 16-year-old cousin and 8-year-old niece. They have now been turned over to a designated shelter after undergoing the necessary trauma informed care for child survivors.

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Police Colonel Portento adds to the Chief's statement by saying that,

Online sexual exploitation of children is indeed a crime with no borders. Inter-agency cooperation with our foreign counterparts is vital to bring justice for all victims in both parts of the world. Arresting the foreign perpetrator in the demand-side country is insufficient to satisfy our call to serve justice but we also need to hold the local facilitator/s responsible and rescue their innocent victims so that they may begin their healing process.

The female suspect will be charged with violation of R.A. No. 9206 (Anti Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003) as amended by R.A. No. 10364 (Expanded Anti Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012); R.A. No. 7610 (Anti Child Abuse) as amended by R.A. No. 9231 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act); R.A. No. 9775 (Anti Child Pornography Act of 2009) all in relation to R.A. No. 10175 (Cybercrime Protection Act of 2012). She is now in Camp Crame for proper documentation and disposition.

A model of enhanced global law enforcement response against online sexual exploitation of children, PICACC is composed of PNP-WCPC, National Bureau of Investigation- Anti-Human Trafficking Division, Australian Federal Police, UK National Crime Agency, and the National Police of the Netherlands, in partnership with International Justice Mission.

The WCPC runs a 24-hour Facebook page helpline, where people can report online sexual abuse and exploitation of children. Visit and report at AlengPulis Facebook page.

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