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Philippine News Digest 100

February 16, 2007 · 


Week February 09-16, 2007
-25 girls rescued from cyber sex dens in Angeles
-American pedophile awaits deportation
-RP mission to UN to host international talks on women trafficking

25 girls rescued from cyber sex dens in Angeles
The Philippine STAR
By Ric Sapnu

CAMP OLIVAS, Pampanga – Agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Angeles City police rescued 23 women and two teenaged girls after policemen conducted raids on three cyber sex dens over the weekend in Balibago, Angeles City.

The police also arrested an American suspect identified as Jesse York, 35, of Los Angeles, California and resident of Diamond Subdivision in Balibago, Angeles City, said Senior Superintendent Guillermo Eleazar, chief of the CIDG Central Luzon.

Eleazar said York was arrested after a warrant of arrest was issued by Judge Philbert Ituralbe of the Angeles City Regional Trial Court for violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2003, or Republic Act 9202.

During the raids in the three cyber sex dens located at Don Juan Street, Diamond Subdivision, 15 females including two minors were rescued by CIDG agents. Police seized from the three cyber sex dens at least 10 computer units with web cameras used in cyber sex and two sex toys.

Senior Superintendent Sonny Cunanan, Angeles City police chief, said a raid was also conducted in a suspected cyber sex den in Dona Carmen Street, Mountain View Subdivision, Balibago.

Claudia Mangapis, reportedly a maintainer of one of the cyber sex dens, was also arrested during the raid. She was charged with violation of RA 9202, said Cunanan.

At least 10 women were rescued and nine computer units with web cameras were seized, including four sex toys and several documents pertaining to cyber sex operations.

The raid was conducted after a search warrant was issued by Judge Bernadita Gabitan Erum of the Angeles City RTC, said Cunanan.

American pedophile awaits deportation
The Philippine STAR
By Edu Punay

An American pedophile who was recently arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Butuan City will soon be deported by the Bureau of Immigration.

Richard David Kitch, 55, will be sent back to the United States as soon as the BI Board of Commissioners issues a summary deportation order, said Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr.

Fernandez said Kitch will also be included in the bureau’s blacklist to prevent him from coming back. Kitch is wanted in the United States, where he was convicted for sexual crimes against children. He was arrested by the NBI last Feb. 5 in the house of his Filipina partner in Butuan.

BI intelligence chief Faizal Hussin said the fugitive fled to the Philippines in September last year after an Illinois court found him guilty on multiple counts of predatory sexual assault against children.

Records gathered by the BI from the US Embassy in Manila showed Kitch committed multiple acts of sexual abuse on two children, reportedly his relatives.

He was arrested on March 3, 2005, by sheriffs in Schuyler county and had been charged with nine counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child.

Kitch failed to appear at his court hearing, prompting the judge to issue an arrest warrant. He was tried in absentia and sentenced last Nov. 29 to life imprisonment for sexual assault and another 14 years from other sexual abuse charges.

Kitch boarded a Korean Airlines flight to Hong Kong on Sept. 7, 2005 and arrived in the Philippines four days later.

On Nov. 29 of the same year, a US court sentenced him to life in prison for nine counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and 14 years in prison for remaining charges of criminal sexual abuse.

While in the Philippines, he reportedly stayed with his common-law wife, Tessie Bulawan Granada, in Butuan City.

RP mission to UN to host international talks on women trafficking
By Pia Lee-Brago
The Philippine STAR

The Philippine Mission to the United Nations will host an international conference on Trafficking on Women and Girls next month to analyze the current state and degree of coordination of efforts of national governments, international organizations and civil society in the fight against trafficking in persons.

Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Lauro Baja Jr. said yesterday that the one-day international conference on March 5 also aims to identify gaps and obstacles on the way to a coordinated and coherent response by the international community, elaborate on measures and consider further action to improve efforts against human trafficking.

The conference, organized by the Philippines in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of Belarus, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the NGO Vital Voices Global Partnership, also seeks to advocate gender-based and gender-sensitive anti-trafficking measures as an indispensable approach to rights-based anti-trafficking strategies.

Baja said the trafficking in persons is one of the most deplorable ills of human society and that, in the continuing trade in human beings, the hardest-hit victims happen to women and girls – who are the most fragile and vulnerable prey of human traffickers.

“The conference will keep up the momentum of international anti-trafficking efforts following the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Philippines and Belarus resolutions on the issue last year,” Baja said. “The Philippines has always been at the forefront of the efforts by the international community to work out a comprehensive, well-coordinated and rights-based approach to combating human trafficking.”

The conference will be held within the framework of the informal thematic debate of the UN General Assembly on gender equality and the empowerment of women. It will complement the roundtable discussion in the Commission on the Status of Women on the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child.

It seeks to discuss the ways of ensuring holistic and comprehensive response of the international community to the challenge of trafficking in women and girls and sharing information about new partnerships and ways of improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in women and girls.

“The president of the (UN) General Assembly and the (UN) Secretary-General have confirmed their participation in the conference and we are hoping for ministerial level attendance from member-states,” Baja said. “We are in effect replicating the concept and format of our successful tripartite conference on interfaith cooperation for peace.” [End]


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