Mayor Lani urges public to be vigilant vs. cybersex operations
Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano lauded the recent arrest of 5 suspects and the rescue of 3 minors used by an online child pornography ring operating in the city.
The successful operation was conducted last October 15 by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Human Trafficking Division (NBI-AHTRAD) in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Inter-Agency Council Against Human Trafficking, the International Justice Mission, and the City of Taguig.
The operation was planned after the FBI reached out to the NBI-AHTRAD about the illegal activities of the group at No. 27 MRT Avenue Lower Bicutan Taguig who had been engaging foreigners for webcam online sexual shows and meet-ups for sexual acts for a fee. The NBI-AHTRAD, after two months of monitoring, then asked the assistance of the Mayor’s Office for their confidential operation.
The entrapment operation was conducted after the suspects, who have been using the username “pretty.mirth”, agreed to meet with the undercover agents of the NBI-AHTRAD.
Apprehended by the operatives were Shaira Candaza, Girlie Candaza, Estrellita Candaza, Mary Rose Reyes, and Mary Grace Cahanding–all blood related. Reyes is the mother of the rescued boys.
The rescued children-two (2) boys aged five (5) and eleven (11) and one (1) two-year-old girl – have been turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Seized from the suspects were the online accounts they used to advertise their services, logbooks of their transactions, pornographic materials, and drug paraphernalia.
The suspects were charged for violations of Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003; Special Protection Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination and for Other Purposes in Relation to Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012; Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009; Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009; and Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
“My heartfelt congratulations to all the agencies who collaborated in this operation. We, together with the NBI-AHTRAD and other stakeholders, share this advocacy to bring to justice perpetrators of online child pornography and child sexual exploitation. We will not stop until they are all held accountable. At the same time, I am urging the public to help us and the national government in the fight against cybersex operations. Be vigilant and be a concerned community member. Let us know, report to authorities if there are suspicious characters in your community,” Mayor Lani said.
In her statement, Mayor Lani also reiterated her administration’s unrelenting campaign against the operation of cybersex dens in the city.
“Our people, especially our children, deserve a safe and nurturing environment as we prepare them to take care of our country’s future.”
Taguig City is known for its child-friendly programs including its comprehensive scholarship program (LANI Scholarship Program) which gives hope and opportunity to students from poor families. ###