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Who Allows Cyber Child Porn in the Philippines?

March 31, 2017 · 

Who Allows Cyber Child Porn in the Philippines?
Fr. Shay Cullen
30 March 2017

Thousands of Filipino children and hundreds of thousands worldwide are sexually traumatized and abused by the fast money-making crime of cyber-sex. This is the most obnoxious crime against helpless, vulnerable children. Filipino kids as young as five or six years are abused for the satisfaction of men of all nationalities that pay to see the children being sexually abused over the Internet.

Others buy videos and images of the abused victims. It is allowed to happen by the failure of the Philippine government and the corporate world of the Philippine Internet Server Providers (ISPs) since the passing of the anti-child pornography law in 2009 otherwise known as RA 9775.

Recently, Philippine DSWD Assistant Secretary Lorraine Badoy posted a sarcastic comment on Facebook that EU citizens should watch child pornography, saying in effect the people of the EU are frequently viewing child porn. She was being sarcastic and facetious in addressing the critics of the president on the more than 7,000 killings of suspects in his war on drugs. She was not condoning child sexual abuse online.

“Iyong mga taga-EU, mag-online child porn muna kayo. D’yan naman kayo magaling e.” (Those in the EU, just engage in online child pornography. Since that’s what you are good at.) It was an ill-advised attempt to defend President Rodrigo Duterte following criticism by EU officials in a statement condemning the war-on-drugs.

It was considered to be insensitive and inappropriate and trivializing the sexual abuse of children. DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo defended Badoy, saying the issue “has been twisted out of context and sensationalized.” The EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said on GMA-7 news, “The Issue of child pornography is extremely serious and a grave crime. It should be addressed in a serious and responsible manner.” And so it should.

The incident has a good side. It has brought attention to the outrageous demand and supply of live images of Filipino children being sexually abused to order by customers worldwide.

The Assistant Secretary is only too aware of the massive demand for live streaming of images of Filipino children being sexually abused online. The blame cannot be laid solely on the door of those demanding the crime be committed so they can view it but also on the child sex abusers, the suppliers and the enablers in the Philippines. This includes the pimps and cyber criminals and traffickers and the corporate Internet Server Providers (ISPs) who by law are ordered to filter and bloc child porn images on the Internet entering their servers.

Allegedly, they refuse to obey the law and the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) does not, it seems, enforce the law. The telephone companies are violating the law by not having these filters in place as demanded by the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 otherwise known as RA 9775. They have seemingly placed themselves above it and seem to have some government officials in their pockets. In addition to the anti-child pornography law, they are also allegedly violating with impunity the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of 1995 or RA 7925 and Executive Order No. 546 issued in 1979. President Duterte ought to investigate and make a threat against them to obey the law or else. He ought to have a war against child porn and cyber-sex.

The Philippine police are all too aware that Filipinos have hundreds if not thousands of small cyber-sex dens doing the streaming and passing the images of child abuse through their server machines. They also know parents and relatives and neighbors are exposing their children, some as young as five years old, to pedophiles online that view and copy the live and videoed sexual abuse images.

This is a billion dollar global cyber-crime business- abusing children for profit. According to Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa, “We (the Philippines) are the origin, the source.” As head of the Philippine National Police’s anti-cybercrime unit, he knows the extent of the abuse of the children but the abusers and cyber-sex dens are very difficult to detect. The dens can be a shack in a slum area, or a hotel room, with an Internet connection and a laptop and camera. It can be closed down in minutes and the suspects evade arrest. Customers in countries around the world pay per view through Western Union or similar money transfer companies. It is a crime committed in thirty one of the eighty one provinces and in all major cities, Sosa said.

Older children are also victims in that these images are freely available on mobile phones and teenagers frequently view them and are easily led to sexually abuse young girls as a result. Parents have a big challenge to campaign against the flow of these terrible and shocking acts and images of abuse. Every time one is viewed, shared and broadcast, the child is abused again and again. It is a crime that is intolerable and must be opposed and the law must be strictly implemented.

Do your bit and protest against cyber-crime today.

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shaycullen@gmail.com

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