DOJ files child trafficking, exploitation raps vs 2 baby sellers

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
DOJ files child trafficking, exploitation raps vs 2 baby sellers
This photo shows two individuals in handcuffs.
Philstar.com / Jovannie Lambayan

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice on Monday said that it had filed qualified trafficking and child exploitation charges against two sellers of newborn children before the Manila Regional Trial Court. 

The DOJ filed the charges against Arjay Malabanan and Ma. Chariza Dizon after the two were found marketing a newborn baby online.

“Evidence adduced sufficiently established the crime of qualified trafficking: respondents facilitated the adoption of the newborn baby; facilitation of the adoption was for a consideration of P90,000; the purpose was to facilitate illegal adoption; the trafficked victim is a child; and the act of trafficking was committed by or through the use of ICT or any computer system, the transaction having been done through Facebook messenger platform,” the DOJ’s resolution read.

The case originated from a complaint of the Philippine National Police-Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC) against Malabanan and Dizon submitted to the DOJ.

Last February 12, the PNP-WCPC responded to information from the National Authority for Child Care (NACC) about a "black market" emerging on social media groups where prospective parents were attempting to illegally adopt children.

A few days later, the PNP-WCPC, with the help of a policewoman posing as a buyer, successfully arranged a transaction with an individual known as "Kuy's Jay," who was later identified as Malabanan. He offered to sell a newborn baby for the amount of P90,000.

The policewoman and “Kuy’s Jay” agreed to meet at Concepcion Church in Dasmariñas City, Cavite where the latter was apprehended together with the baby’s mother, Dizon. 

The prosecutors have recommended bail for child exploitation charges in the amount of P80,000.

The qualified trafficking charge, on the other hand, is non-bailable. 

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