The Philippine National Police has voiced alarm over rising incidents of online child sexual exploitation in the country following the arrest of two men allegedly involved in arranging the encounters via the internet.
Senior Supt. Villamor Tuliao, PNP Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) anti-trafficking in persons division chief, sought the public’s help to put a stop to the crime in a press conference on Friday.
“Online sex exploitation of children is an emerging threat against our children so we consider it as a serious crime,” Tuliao said.
He said that it was alarming because it was a crime targeting children “who are the most vulnerable” in the society.
“We have to address this and the PNP and the PNP-WCPC are not [taking] this sitting down,” Tuliao said, adding that his office had intensified operations against groups engaged in such illegal activities, which resulted in the recent arrest of suspects Jamil Santiago and Anthony Mabansag.
He said that Santiago and Mabansag were nabbed on Oct. 15 after they were allegedly about to sell a 17-year-old girl for sex in exchange for P5,000 ($100) to a Filipino client in Manila.
Tuliao said that prior to the suspects’ arrest, they had been engaged in selling child pornography online, including live sex shows, for several years.
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation tipped off the PNP in July on the duo’s activities after their link to an arrested American sex offender was detected.