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Philippines

Rescuers of sexually abused children attack them too

Corrupt adults groom, lure and brainwash poor, vulnerable minors with promises of the high life

Shay Cullen, Manila

Shay Cullen, Manila

Published: September 13, 2021 03:13 AM GMT

Updated: September 13, 2021 03:41 AM GMT

Rescuers of sexually abused children attack them too

Internet service providers allow the free passage of child sexual abuse material by which the minds and hearts of children and adults are corrupted.

Human trafficking is the greatest evil that falls upon the poor, ignorant and vulnerable children who are groomed, lured and brainwashed by corrupt adults into believing that the high life of money, sex and drugs is the greatest trip they could have.

They see the high life in the movies, on the internet and hear about it from friends as pimps and human traffickers patrol Facebook looking for vulnerable children to sell to pedophiles and child sex abusers. The badly controlled Facebook is a grave danger to children and adults alike. It and other internet platforms can lure them to abuse children and enable human trafficking.

Internet service providers (ISPs) operated by telecommunication corporations in the Philippines like PLDT, Smart, Globe and Dito are to be held responsible. They allow the free passage of child sexual abuse material by which the minds and hearts of children and adults are corrupted. The images entice pedophiles to go out and sexually abuse children.

That is at the heart of the crime of child sexual abuse. They flout Philippine law (RA 9775) which mandates them to install blocking software. They don’t and as a result, children are groomed and abused online and offline. Apple Corporation has said it has software that can detect child sexual abuse material on its iPhones. They can detect it, block it and report the abusers who collect them. The ISPs should have similar technology. Microsoft has similar technology and is doing good, saving and protecting children.

However, there is opposition to this by others who claim governments could use the technology for surveillance. That is untrue. Apple can guard its technology for its own use only, which is the greater good that we must choose.

Here is a true story of human trafficking and child abuse by so-called rescuers of trafficked children that happened recently. It all started on Facebook where uncontrolled communication is a hunting ground for pedophiles and child sex abusers. Here, children are vulnerable to grooming and brainwashing and are easily lured into “falling in love” with anyone that says they like them and admire them. That was how Lisa, 13, and Josie, 15, (not their real names) happened to view sexually explicit images and become interested in having sexual experiences.

Lisa was already conditioned by viewing child sexual abuse material and chatting with sex partners online, thanks to the uncontrolled internet

Lisa was contacted by her older sister Anna and her friend Josie. Monica is a human trafficker who offered them a chance to have sex with customers and earn money to buy drugs and gadgets. Lisa was already conditioned by viewing child sexual abuse material and chatting with sex partners online, thanks to the uncontrolled internet. She decided to go with Anna and Josie and meet Monica and the men to set up a sex party and meet rich foreign customers.

The planning meeting was in a restaurant and was arranged by Monica. In the restaurant, Monica made the arrangement with the three men. They would go together to the hotel where there was a swimming pool and where the girls would meet with customers and have sex and get paid.

The man who was planning the party (call him Nixon) arranged the meeting in the restaurant and opened a bag of money supplied by the donors of an international charity to show them he was loaded. They fell for it and agreed to go to the party and have sex with customers. Then, Nixon and his two companions said they would like to try out the girls first and have sex with them. That same day, they took the minors to a hotel and had sex and paid them. Anna, 19, was also sexually abused.

The party at the posh hotel was held several days later. After swimming in the pool, the girls met the men again in a room and there Nixon offered Monica the money for the girls. Monica pressured Anna to accept the money on her behalf.

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Within a few minutes, agents from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrived to arrest them all, particularly Monica and two other human traffickers. Lisa and Josie were handed over to the government social worker as they were minors. When they were brought to the NBI office, they saw one of the men who had met them at the restaurant to set up the party.

They wrongly believed that the three undercover agents who set up the party were NBI agents. The undercover agents were in fact from an international child rescue charity that specializes in rescuing children from human traffickers and bringing about the arrest of the traffickers. But the agents are corrupt and they sexually abused minors Liza and Josie and 19-year old Anna during the operation paid for by the international charity.

The girls were outraged and angry that the undercover agents had sexually abused them. They are now planning to file criminal charges against the undercover agents and the charity for abusing them.

In a letter to the Philippine National Police, the international charity confirmed the sexual abuse of the minors by the agents. But to preserve its reputation, it has disavowed the agents and claimed it never heard of them and refused to cooperate in identifying them by name. The rescue charity denied that the agents worked for them. This is highly irresponsible and a total contradiction of what they say they stand for and a betrayal of the children it ostensibly protects and saves.

Olongapo NBI chief, attorney Orlando Navallo, a man of integrity and dedication to justice, has vowed to get the child abusers and bring them and their enablers to justice. He will investigate further and identify them all, he said.

Another child rescued in Pampanga by the same charity during another set-up rescue operation also complained that she was sexually abused by an undercover agent. This is corruption without mercy. It must be exposed and the culprits identified and brought to justice. That is what we must do for all children who are victims of trafficking and abuse.

Irish missionary Father Shay Cullen, SSC, established the Preda Foundation in Olongapo City in the Philippines in 1974 to promote human rights and the rights of children, especially victims of sexual abuse. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official editorial position of UCA News.

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