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By: Joey A. Gabieta – Correspondent / @joeygabietaINQ
Inquirer Visayas / 04:49 PM August 06, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY –– Police arrested two parents for allegedly exposing their five children to cyberpornography inside a hotel in Naval town, Biliran on Tuesday.
Charges for violating the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003 will be filed against the suspects at the provincial prosecutor’s office.
The offense is non-bailable.
While the law allows the media to identify the suspects, the Inquirer opted not to name them to protect the identities of the victims.
Rescued were children aged eight months old to 17 years old.
The rescued minors were entrusted to the care of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Colonel Romero Perigo, chief of the Women and Children Protection Center-Visayas Field Unit, said they seized from the suspects a mobile phone which was believed to be used in their illegal activities.
“We are confident that there are child exploitation materials in the cellphone which was used in the transaction with our police decoy,” he said during an interview by the Biliran Island online website.
The mobile phone will be tested for forensic examination by the anti-cybercrime group.
Perigo said they learned about the suspect’s operations from an informant in June this year.
On Tuesday, August 6, they transacted with the suspects using a police asset who acted as a foreigner.
The suspects allegedly demanded about $90 in exchange for a lewd video of the minors.
Perigo said they immediately conducted an entrapment operation which led to the arrest of the suspects about 11 a.m. Tuesday inside a hotel.
The hotel management, in a statement, said they would fully support any investigation, saying they were not aware that the suspects were using their facility in carrying out their illegal online activity.
“We assure our valued guests that we take security and safety very seriously and we condone any illegal activities being conducted in the hotel premises,” it said.
The suspects are now detained at the Naval Police Station pending the filing of charges against them. /lzb