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DOJ: 2 suspects who sold baby for P90,000 charged

Daphne Galvez - The Philippine Star
DOJ: 2 suspects who sold baby for P90,000 charged
In a resolution dated May 17, the DOJ charged Arjay Malabanan and Ma. Chariza Dizon for violating Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and RA 7610, otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.
Philstar.com / Jovannie Lambayan, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed complaints for human trafficking and child exploitation against two persons for selling a newborn for P90,000.

In a resolution dated May 17, the DOJ charged Arjay Malabanan and Ma. Chariza Dizon for violating Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and RA 7610, otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.

Malabanan and Dizon were arrested in an entrapment operation conducted by the Philippine National Police-Women and Children Protection Center in Dasmariñas City, Cavite on May 15.

The operation stemmed from information from the National Authority for Child Care (NACC) that there is a “black market” on social media for people seeking to illegally adopt children.

In February, a police officer who posted on Facebook her intent to adopt a baby received a message from an account called “Kuy’s Jay” that offered a baby for P90,000.

Kuy’s Jay, who was found to be Malabanan, agreed to meet with the client at a church in Dasmariñas City.

He told the client that the money would be given to the baby’s mother, who turned out to be Dizon.

Malabanan presented an identification card, which showed that he is a computer operator working for the local government of Dasmariñas City.

The suspects were arrested after allegedly receiving the marked money from the police.

Assistant State Prosecutor Claire Eufracia Pagayanan said there was sufficient probable cause to indict the suspects for qualified human trafficking.

“In the instant case, the act of the respondents in selling the newborn is an act of exploitation,” the resolution read.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said “children are the most precious treasures of society meant to be protected by law. We will never allow anyone to exploit them in any way.”

Adoption system

Amid the rampant sale of children online, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is in the process of digitalizing the adoption system.

DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian said the department is working with the NACC to make the adoption and alternative child care process “more innovative and responsive to children in need of care.”

Gatchalian made the announcement after a baby boy was rescued from two persons who tried to sell the newborn on social media on May 15. One of the suspects is the baby’s own mother.

The NACC estimates that up to 40 Facebook accounts are being used to peddle children in the guise of adoption. — Sheila Crisostomo

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