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Sen. Legarda urges ties with world groups vs cybersex crimes

August 7, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – Alarmed with the proliferation of cyber sex crimes, Senator Loren Legarda on Thursday urged the national government to strengthen ties with international law enforcement organizations to combat this form of human trafficking.

Senator Legarda made the statement as she lamented that the crime has degraded family values, with parents themselves reportedly selling their own children online: “Parents are supposed to teach their children good values, but why are there mothers and fathers who willingly sell their children online and make them perform lewd acts in exchange for money?

“Nothing, not even poverty, can justify such acts.”

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), with assistance from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the International Justice Mission, recently raided a house in Taguig City and rescued two children from their own mother while prodding her children to perform lewd acts online.

“If children can no longer feel secure and protected in their own homes, then something is terribly wrong in our society. We need to put an end to these kinds of abuses,” Legarda said.

Due to the complexity of the crime, the Senator said it is important that links with international police organizations are strengthened.

“Strengthened cooperation and improved coordination of the NBI with international police groups have led to previous successful operations against cyber pornography. We must sustain these gains and ensure the proper implementation of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act to combat this crime,” she said.

Legarda, principal sponsor of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, explained that under the law, harboring a child for purposes of prostitution or production of pornographic materials is considered trafficking.

Furthermore, the crime is not plain trafficking but qualified trafficking when the offender is the parent, guardian or someone who exercises authority over the child.

Any person found guilty of qualified trafficking faces the punishment of life imprisonment.

In line with this, Legarda also pushed for the immediate passage of two proposed measures that will boost efforts against cyber pornography—the Anti-Computer Pornography Act (Senate Bill No. 532) and the NBI Reorganization and Modernization Act (Senate Bill No. 1902).

The Anti-Computer Pornography Act seeks to protect minors from indecent and immoral material transmitted through electronic mail and other electronic media. Acts such as transmitting or offering to transmit information that contains indecent materials to a minor and providing access to transmission of said materials to a minor shall be deemed punishable.

Source: Interaskyon