Metro Manila – Authorities rescued 5 victims and arrested 2 suspects in two separate operations against online sexual exploitation of children in Metro Manila as the month of May comes to a close.
On May 24th the first operation took place in Mandaluyong City and stemmed from a complaint filed at the local police station which was then referred to the Anti Trafficking in Person Division of the Women and Children Protection Center.
Law enforcers from the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC) led by PCOL Maria Sheila Portento and the Mandaluyong City Police Office led by PCOL Guavin Mel Unos under the direct supervision of PBGEN Alessandro C. Abella, Chief of the WCPC immediately took action as they pursued the complaint. Police successfully conducted an entrapment and rescue operation in one of the Barangays within the area. During the operations, police were able to apply the law on hot pursuit and arrest one 27-year-old male suspect and rescue three minors, one (1) female, 16 years old and two (2) male victims, 15 and 16 years old. The two were removed from the scene while another one presented himself to the police. The rescued children are close acquaintances of the arrested perpetrator. Police were also able to gather 16 pieces of evidence on the scene which includes sexual paraphernalia, smartphones and other digital devices believed to have been used by the suspects against his victims.
On May 26th the second operation took place in Taguig and stemmed from a referral from the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Law enforcers from the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) led by PCOL Maria Sheila Portento under the direct supervision of PBGEN Alessandro C. Abella, C, WCPC in coordination with the Taguig City Police Station led by PCOL Celso M. Rodriguez in coordination with the Taguig City Municipal Welfare Development Office (CSWDO) with the support of the United Kingdom National Crime Agency (UK NCA), Australian Federal Police (AFP) and International Justice Mission (IJM) conducted the second entrapment and rescue operation in Bonifacio Global City.
Rescued in this operation were two male survivors, 17 and 19 years old. Arrested at the scene was one 23-year-old male suspect. There was no blood relationship between the perpetrator and the rescued victims. Evidence seized during the operation were marked money, a digital gadget which could have been used to facilitate the transactions, and a money remitance receipt.
“These successful operations serve as a warning for all traffickers who livestream the sexual abuse and exploitation of children to paying offenders abroad. This crime may be profitable, but it does not pay. It is a serious offense with serious consequences, including potential lifetime imprisonment. The Philippine National Police, through the Women and Children Protection Center, is relentless in our pursuit to restrain traffickers and safeguard more children from the trauma caused by this crime,” said PBGEN Alessandro Abella, Chief of WCPC.
Speaking about the Taguig operation, Australian Federal Police Senior Officer to the Philippines, Detective Superintendent Andrew Perkins, stated:
“The Australian Federal Police, a partner agency of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC), referred intelligence into the Philippine National Police and the PICACC leading to a PNP led investigation and operation resulting in the arrest of an alleged child sex offender and removal of alleged victims from harm. This operational outcome further highlights the effectiveness of the PICACC, collectively bringing together capabilities of all PICACC partner agencies to drive a collaborative response to counter the sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines.”
The suspects will be charged with violation of R.A. 9208 as amended by R.A. 10364 or the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act,” R.A. 9775 or the “Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009,” in relation to R.A. 10175 or the “Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.”
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: www.facebook.com/pnpwcpc.alengpulis.