City of Taguig works with U.S. and Philippine law enforcement to prevent online cybersex trafficking


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The City of Taguig congratulates U.S. Homeland Security Investigations and the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTRAD) for a successful operation in Taguig resulting in the rescue of two children, and the arrest of three adults for offering children for sexual acts in exchange for fees.  This operation was undertaken thanks to close coordination between NBI, the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Manila, and HSI Portland, Maine, and was supported by the Taguig City Social Welfare Department as well as the International Justice Mission.

 

HSI Portland and HSI Manila identified the suspects and their cybersex operation.  HSI Manila then requested the assistance of the NBI AHTRAD, who led the entrapment operation in Taguig City that resulted in the takedown of this child cybersex operation.

 

Social workers from Taguig City’s Social Welfare Department became involved at the stakeout stage of the operation, then provided protection to the rescued minors and assisted them through their interviews with the police and medical officials, ensuring their wellbeing throughout the process. “We act as parents for them until they are turned over to a caregiving institution where psychosocial care be provided for them,” said Taguig City social worker Jurita Olvido, adding that the two minors have already been endorsed to a non-governmental organization accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

 

The three suspects have been charged for violation of Republic Act No. 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act and RA 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

 

Over the past year, HSI Manila has collaborated with a core group of Taguig City law enforcers and social health care workers, led by Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano, to find ways to prevent the spread of online cybersex trafficking.  “We commend Mayor Cayetano for assembling a team that prioritizes this issue,” said Ransom Avilla, HSI Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines.  “We have been working with the Mayor and the City to address this growing crime in the Philippines and to bring it to the public’s attention.”

 

The arrest of the child cybersex traffickers and the rescue of the children in a hotel in Bonifacio Global City speaks volumes of Mayor Cayetano’s commitment to fight online cybersex trafficking.  With the permission of the Philippine government, this operation was filmed by the BBC in an effort to build public awareness of cybersex trafficking and law enforcement efforts to curb it.  The BBC documentary will air this coming summer.

 

Mayor Lani Cayetano urged the public to help the city and the national government in fighting cybersex operations. She also reiterated that her administration will not stop until those who engage in these are held accountable. “Taguigeños, especially the young ones, deserve a safe, peaceful and nurturing environment where they are protected and cared for,” Mayor Lani added.

 

Taguig City is already known for its child-friendly programs like the Lifeline Assistance for Neighbors In-need Scholarship which offers a comprehensive scholarship program for students from poor families.  Because of the local government’s effort to protect and support children’s rights and welfare, the city received the Seal of “Child-Friendly Local Governance” for two consecutive years (2014-2015) from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). Moreover, the Taguig-Pateros District Hospital was also recognized for being a “Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital” in 2015 after passing the strict standards of Department of Health (DOH) and for providing quality medical services to its citizens. ###

 

 

FILIPINO VERSION

 

Taguig nakikipagtulungan sa US Homeland Security at NBI sa pagbuwag ng ‘online cybersex trafficking’

 

Pinapurihan ng pamahalaang lungsod ng Taguig ang U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) at ang Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTRAD) ng National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) para sa pagkakasagip sa dalawang bata mula sa isang “child cybersex den” sa Bonifacio Global City (BGC) at sa pagkakaaresto sa tatlong suspek.

 

Ang nasabing operasyon na bumuwag sa “child cybersex den” sa isang hotel sa BGC ay bunga ng masusing koordinasyon sa pagitan ng NBI, United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Manila, HSI Portland, Maine; Taguig City Social Welfare Department at ng International Justice Mission.

 

Matapos matunton ng HSI Portland at HSI Manila ang mga suspek at ang kanilang “cybersex operation,” ay agad namang nakipagtulungan ang HSI Manila sa NBI AHTRAD para sa isang “entrapment operation” na ikinabuwag ng naturang “child cybersex operation.”

 

Mula sa pagmamatyag hanggang sa aktuwal na “entrapment operation,” ay nakibahagi na ang mga social workers mula sa Taguig City Social Welfare Department na siyang kumupkop sa mga nailigtas na bata.

 

Ayon kay Jurita Olvido, isang “social worker” ng Taguig, ginabayan din ng mga social workers ang mga bata habang sila ay kinakausap ng mga pulis at mga opisyal medikal.

 

“Kami ang tumayong mga magulang ng mga bata habang hindi pa sila naililipat sa kalinga ng isang caregiving institution na kung saan sila lalapatan ng psychosocial interventions,” sabi ni Olvido.

 

Samantala, ang mga naarestong suspek ay sinampahan na ng mga kasong paglabag sa Republic Act 7610 o ang “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act” at ng Republic Act 10175 o ang “Cybercrime Prevention Act.”

 

Sa loob ng mga nakaraang taon, nakikipagtulungan na ang HIS Manila sa isang grupo ng mga awtoridad at “social health care workers” sa pumumuno ni Taguig City Mayor Lani Cayetano para maghanap ng mga paraan upang masugpo ang “online cybersex trafficking.”

 

“Pinanapurihan namin si Mayor Cayetano sa kanyang pagbubuo ng isang grupo para sa isyung ito,” sabi ni Ransom Avilla, HSI Attaché sa the Embahada ng Estados Unidos sa bansa, sa Ingles.

 

“Nakikipagtulungan kami kay Mayor Cayetano at sa lungsod ng Taguig para masugpo ang krimen na ito na lumalaganap na sa Pilipinas at maipaalam ito sa publiko,” sabi pa ni Avilla.

 

Ayon kay Avilla, ang pagkakadakip sa tatlong suspek at pagkakaligtas sa dalawang batang babae ay kinunan rin ng video ng British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) para sa isang dokumentaryo ukol sa “cybersex trafficking” at kung paano ito sinusugpo ng mga awtoridad. Ang dokyumentaryo ay ipapalabas ngayong summer.

 

Dagdag pa ni Avilla, ang pagkakaaresto sa mga pinaghihinalaang “child cybersex traffickers” at sa pagkakaligtas sa dalawang bata ay patunay sa dedikasyon ni Mayor Lani sa pagsugpo sa krimeng ito.

 

Hinimok naman ni Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano ang lahat ng Taguigeños na tumulong para sugpuin ang lahat ng uri ng “cybersex operations.” Sinabi rin niya na hindi titigil ang kanyang pamunuan sa lungsod hanggang tuluyang mapanagot ang sinumang masasangkot sa mga ganitong kriminal na gawain.

 

“Ang mga Taguigeños, lalo na ang mga kabataan, ay marapat lamang na magkaroon ng isang ligtas, tahimik at mapag-alagang kapaligiran na kung saan sila ay bibigyan ng proteksyon at pagkalinga,” sabi ni Mayor Lani.

 

Kinilala ang Taguig City sa kanyang mga programang “child-friendly” gaya ng Lifeline Assistance for Neighbors In-need Scholarship na kung saan nabibigyan ng isang komprehensibong scholarship program ang mga mag-aaral mula sa mahihitap na pamilya ng lungsod.

 

Bunga rin ng pagsisikap ng lokal na pamahaalan ng Taguig na bigyan ng proteksyon ang kabataan at maisulong ang kanilang karapatan at kapakanan, nakamit ng Taguig ang “Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance” para sa mga taong 2014 and 2015 mula sa Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at sa Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

 

Kinilala rin ang Taguig-Pateros District Hospital na “Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital” para sa taong 2015 matapos maipatupad ang mga serbisyong medikal ayon sa mahigpit na pamantayan ng Department of Health (DOH). ###


Taguig City Hotlines

Taguig City Hall 555- 7800 Police Taguig Mobile Patrol 0921-7221972
Fire Department at City Hall 642-9982 Public Order & Safety Office 642-1261
Fire Department Taguig Central 837-0740 / 837-4496 Taguig Environmental / Solid Waste 642-7557
Fire Department at FTI 837-4496 Traffic Management Office 640-7006
Lake & River Patrol 628-1377 Taguig-Pateros District Hospital 837-8132
Office of Social Welfare & Development 555-7919 Taguig City Rescue 0917-5503727
PNP Taguig / COP 642-2060 Taguig Emergency Hotline 165-7777
Tactical Operation Center Police 642-3582 Taguig Command Center 789- 3200
Police 117 / Emergency 1623 Doctors-On- Call 0917- 8210896