Child, 2, res­cued in Lapu-Lapu

The Women and Chil­dren’s Pro­tec­tion Cen­ter (WCPC) of the La­puLapu City Po­lice Of­fice has res­cued Thurs­day a two-year-old girl, al­legedly a vic­tim of hu­man traf­fick­ing.

The Freeman - - NEWS - — Mylen P. Manto, Er­mida Q. Mo­radas / RHM

The op­er­a­tion was in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the In­terA­gency Coun­cil Against Traf­fick­ing (IACAT)-7, De­part­ment of So­cial Wel­fare and De­vel­op­ment (DSWD)7, and the In­ter­na­tional Jus­tice Mis­sion (IJM).

IJM al­leged that the vic­tim was of­fered by her own mother to be sex­u­ally abused.

“More than once, the sus­pect al­legedly of­fered to sex­u­ally abuse the tod­dler in live-stream videos for pay­ing ‘cus­tomers’ over­seas,” IJM said.

The mother al­legedly de­manded P6,000 to P15,000 from the for­eign­ers as fee.

The WCPC re­ceived a re­port that the sus­pect, whose name is be­ing with­held by The FREE­MAN due to her re­la­tion to the vic­tim, was al­legedly en­gaged in on­line sex­ual ex­ploita­tion of chil­dren. This led to the agency con­duct­ing surveillance on her.

Af­ter con­fir­ma­tion, the op­er­a­tion was con­ducted Thurs­day late af­ter­noon in Barangay Can­ju­lao, La­puLapu City. The child as well as an­other vic­tim whose age is yet to be de­ter­mined is now un­der the cus­tody of DSWD-7.

IJM al­leged that the sec­ond vic­tim told the po­lice that the sus­pect forced her to strip naked and her pho­tos were sent to for­eign­ers on­line.

The sus­pect was able to es­cape ar­rest.

Lawyer John Tanagho, IJM Cebu Field Of­fice di­rec­tor, said poverty was not the rea­son be­hind the act of the sus­pect.

“Imag­ine, a mother of­fer­ing to sex­u­ally abuse her two-year-old daugh­ter and even in live-stream .... We can’t blame this all on poverty—mil­lions of Filipinos work hard to pro­vide for their fam­i­lies through hon­est and dig­ni­fied means, even if they live sim­ply. On­line sex­ual ex­ploita­tion of chil­dren is about in­di­vid­u­als with dis­torted moral val­ues who are will­ing to mis­treat and sex­u­ally abuse chil­dren to make money, with­out re­gard for the God-given dig­nity and in­no­cence of chil­dren,” he said in a press state­ment.

Com­plaints for vi­o­la­tions of Repub­lic Act (RA) 9208 (Anti-Traf­fick­ing in Per­sons Act), RA 9775 (Anti-Child Pornog­ra­phy Act) in re­la­tion to RA 10175 (Cy­ber­crime Preven­tion Act) will be filed against the sus­pect.

Mean­while, still in La­puLapu City, a two-year-old boy was also res­cued by the po­lice af­ter he was al­legedly beaten up by his 24-year-old step­fa­ther and his mother.

A con­cerned cit­i­zen brought the boy to the po­lice af­ter see­ing him be­ing mal­treated.

Po­lice Of­fi­cer 1 Bri­lyn Zuzum­brado of WCPD Mac­tan said it was ac­tu­ally not the first time that the child was phys­i­cally hurt by his par­ents when they fight.

The step­fa­ther of the child was ap­pre­hended by the po­lice dur­ing their fol­low-up op­er­a­tion.

The mother of the child is at-large.

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