For streaming sexual acts on children online: 3 mothers sent to jail
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - February 24, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — For streaming the sexual abuse of children online for cash, the Regional Trial court in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu sent three women to jail and fined them hefty amounts of money in damages.

The ruling of Judge Christine Muga-Abad on February 19 came with the three women pleading guilty not to the original charges but to similar offenses to protect the children from having to appear in court to testify, which can be traumatic, because the perpetrators are family members or neighbors.

Among those who pleaded guilty is a 22-year-old woman who was arrested on March 26, 2018 in Lapu-Lapu City for trafficking four children, including her four-year-old daughter. She was sentenced to 23 years in jail and ordered to pay P600,000 in moral and exemplary damages.

The two other women, 36 and 27 years old, respectively, were arrested during simultaneous operations on April 26, 2016 also in Lapu-Lapu City.

During that operation, authorities rescued the three children of the

During that operation, authorities rescued the three children of the 36-year-old woman. She was sentenced to 37 years in jail and ordered to pay P600,000 in damages.

Meanwhile, authorities rescued the 27-year-old woman’s two children, one of whom was a three-month-old baby. She was sentenced to 23 years in jail and, like the other suspects, ordered to pay P600,000 in damages.

The operations were spearheaded by the Philippine National Police’s Women and Children Protection Center - Visayas Field Unit in coordination with the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) - 7, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) - 7, the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Group - 7, the Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, and the International Justice Mission (IJM).

In a statement, IJM-Cebu said the three women violated the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (R.A. 9208 as amended by R.A. 10364), Anti-Child Pornography Act (R.A. 9775), Cybercrime Prevention Act (R.A. 10175), and Anti-Child Abuse Law (R.A. 7610).

“Every child has the right to live in a safe environment. Pursuant to it is the government's relentless efforts and the valuable assistance of organizations such as IJM towards the protection of our children,” said Prosecutor Antonio Aseniero in the same statement.

IJM Cebu Field Office Director John Tanagho said, “Today’s convictions of three traffickers for live-streaming child sexual abuse sends a clear message that the Philippine Government and the rule of law are on the side of vulnerable children. Holding perpetrators accountable honors the survivors, whose privacy was violated when their sexual abuse was broadcast to strangers around the world using live-streaming platforms and apps.”

So far, in IJM-supported cases, more than 80 persons have been convicted in the Philippines for OSEC since 2011.

IJM has supported Philippine law enforcement agencies in operations that led to the arrest of more than 200 OSEC perpetrators and the rescue of almost 600 victims and children-at-risk across the country.

IJM is a global organization that protects the poor from violence. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. (FREEMAN)

SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN
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