TAGUIG, METRO MANILA—Four (4) children who were being sexually abused and exploited online by sexual predators from other countries were rescued by Aleng Pulis operatives of the Philippine National Police – Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC) yesterday.
Led by PCOL Maria Sheila T. Portento, Chief of the Anti Trafficking in Persons Division of PNP-WCPC, a multi-agency team including personnel from Taguig City Police Station and City Social Welfare and Development Office, and International Justice Mission conducted the operation that resulted in the rescue of the children—aged 6 (male), 9, 10 and 17 (females). The children are now in the custody of agencies providing trauma and recovery interventions.
One (1) suspect, believed to the children’s kin, was also arrested. The identity is withheld to protect the children.
PBGEN Alessandro Abella, Chief of the WCPC has expressed concern over how the pandemic may have emboldened abusers who think that they will not be apprehended.
This can mean more victims need to be found and identified... It is a challenge and we need everyone who may have knowledge of horrible crimes like this to come forward and report. Report to your WCPC.
Just last month, the WCPC rescued thirteen (13) children from a similar operation in Bislig, Surigao del Sur. To date, there have been a total of twelve (12) operations conducted by WCPC in Taguig city alone, which resulted in the rescue of fifty-two (52) victims and arrest of twenty-six (26) suspects. There are five (5) convictions in the same city under the Anti-Trafficking law. Since 2015, the WCPC has conducted a total of eighty-four (84) anti-trafficking operations that resulted in the rescue of four hundred eighty-six (486) victims and arrest of one hundred sixty-four (164) suspects.
Aleng Pulis operative of the WCPC takes account of all evidence found at the site, including payment slips and receipts (see front of teddy bear) from the foreign abusers who pay to watch children being sexually abused and exploited online.
In these crimes, children are typically forced to perform sexual acts in front of a camera for abusers watching online who send payments through cash transfers or other online payment systems. PCOL Portento emphasized that “the videos and photos are also often sold and resold online repeatedly, or shared openly, perpetuating the abuse.”
“This Operation by the PNP-WCPC is a powerful testimony of their dedication to stopping Online Sexual Exploitation on its tracks. As a result of their unfaltering commitment, four children are now safe and their alleged perpetrator has been arrested and will no longer be able to abuse children again. One can truly admire the men and women of WCPC who are real life heroes doing their sworn duty going above and beyond all challenges, thus achieving more protection to our children in the communities during this time of lockdown,” said Atty. Rey Bicol, Field Officer Director of IJM Manila.
Aleng Pulis operatives of the WCPC runs [sic] a Facebook page twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, where anyone can report online sexual abuse and exploitation of children or seek help if they have been victimized. They invite everyone to share information and report at this Facebook page: facebook.com/wcpc.didmpnp
For media inquiries, please contact:
PCPT Michelle A. Morada Head, WCPC Social Media Helpline Team Women and Children Protection Center Email Address: [email protected] Cellular Phone Number: 0919 777 3777
For IJM-related media inquiries, please contact: Evelyn Pingul [email protected]