Authorities rescue differently-abled sister and own son of online sex trafficker in Taguig

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MANILA – Trafficking in person (TIP) is a serious global problem. According to the US State Department, which has a global program against TIP, the government of the Philippines has good general response to address the issue as evidenced by relevant laws and programs, and the number of apprehensions and litigation of TIP cases in the country.

The system against trafficking in the country is indeed alive as the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the International Justice Mission (IJM), an independent group of lawyers specializing on TIP issues, announced Tuesday the arrest of an online sex trafficker in Taguig City who abused eight people.  Aggravating the cruelty is the fact that one of those rescued is her own son and a 27-year old differently-abled sister.

In a published report, the said operation involved a team from the PNP Women and Children Protection Center Anti-Trafficking in Person Division (PNP-WCPC-ATIPD) in coordination with the Taguig City Police Office and the city’s Social Welfare and Development Office.

Police colonel Sheila Portento of ATIPDs said one of the victims was a 27-year old deaf female and sister of the suspect.  She said “What surprised me during this rescue operation was one of the victim was a differently-abled 27-year old sister of the suspect and also the biological mother of one boy and close relative of some of the rescued children.”

Under Republic Act 7610 or the law that provides special protection on children also defines a child as one above 17 years old but cannot take care of him/herself alone because of certain disability.  

Reynaldo Bicol, director of the IJM Manila Field Office said “the law offers greater protection to the vulnerable.  The 27-year old person with disability is considered a child and is entitled to an expanded care of the state which we see that the government is currently enforcing to protect her rights and pursue justice on her behalf.”

He added that “the case shows that online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) offenders will go to great lengths to abuse the most vulnerable, but the law shall hold them accountable to the fullest extent.”  

The president in his latest report on the government’s response on Covid-19 pandemic to congress acknowledged the rise of violence against women and children during the lockdown.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.