PNP ACG director Senior Superintendent Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar pledged assistance and assurance in the wake of a Reuters’ report that poor Filipino families are pushing their children into performing live sex online for pedophiles around the globe in what has been called a modern version of child slavery.
Eleazar said they are addressing the growing menace through the stepped-up implementation of their Project ‘Angelnet’ which specifically promotes Internet safety and protect children from the dangers of the Internet. The program is being implemented by the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) with the help of their different foreign and domestic partners.
Because of modern technology, which has given rise to smartphones and Internet, the official said young Filipino children and others in the world nowadays are routinely exposed to profanity, lewd images, pornography and violence that could be easily accessed through the Internet.
“It’s facilitated by mothers and fathers or close relatives. It may even happen in their home,” she added. “It’s definitely child slavery because the child has no choice.”
The pedophiles transfer money and then give instructions of what they want to see. In many cases, the child is abused by someone outside the family, but there have been cases of parents abusing their own children or children abusing each other, the Reuters report said.
He said that online child pornography and other obscene acts seem to be the norm nowadays, thus the need for the government to do something to counter the problem. “This is the reason why we at the PNP ACG are unwavering in our view that online child protection issues should be thoroughly addressed by concerned authorities with the help of the community, most specifically parents and teachers,” Eleazar said.
AFTER shutting down 322 websites for child pornography that previously could be freely accessed on the internet, PNP ACG yesterday said all measures have been taken to keep children safe from online predators, many of them foreign pedophiles with Filipino contacts who help them recruit young boys and girls to engage in real or virtual prostitution and other bestial acts.
The project supervisor, Supt. Ma. Ivy P. Castillo, said they also embarked on a massive proactive campaign thru which they identified 322 websites carrying child pornographic images that can be freely accessed on the internet. The official said they successfully blocked those websites with the help of the National Telecommunications Commission and the different Internet Service Providers.
In 2015, the PNP Special Task Force Project ‘Angelnet’ investigated 136 cases of online child abuse, 41 of them referred by their foreign counterparts. Twenty-one of the cases investigated have been referred before different prosecutor’s office, Eleazar said.
In a report to PNP chief Director General Ricardo C. Marquez, the PNP ACG director said they have been getting solid support from different government agencies and other stakeholders as well as their counterparts from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, Australian Federal Police, U.S. Homeland Security, Netherlands Police and the Interpol in their children protection program.
Eleazar said their international counterparts who are experts in trends and challenges of child pornography and other computer-facilitated crimes against children have been fully supporting them in their drive.
The FBI last year sponsored an Online Undercover Training for the PNP to help increase the capacity of the PNP Women and Children Protection Desk investigators in handling, investigating and helping prosecute computer-facilitated crimes against children through immediate and proper response to complaints and securing online evidence needed by the court.
“We believe that every police officer in the country needs to be properly trained on the threats posed by cyber-criminals specifically online sex fiends,” Eleazar said.
The PNP ACG early this year held its Angelnet Summit 2016 week as part of its aggressive program to address online child abuse and protect children from all forms of internet exploitation and abuses.
“We want to increase public awareness and level of understanding on online child abuse which is now an emerging threat to children all over the world,” said Eleazar.
Eleazar expressed alarm over the increasing number of children being exposed to online pornography, online grooming, online sexual exploitation and cyber-bullying.
The official batted for a need for parents and the school community to see to it that they will be able to fully monitor their children and educate them on the proper use of the internet to prevent the possibility they would fall prey to online sexual exploitation.
“Through this project, we are guiding our children to internet safety with the help of their parents and guardians as well as their teachers and barangay officials,” Eleazar said.