Rescuers of Child Victims Abuse Them, Too

by Fr. Shay Cullen

| Photo by Thomas Swanhoff via Creative Commons/Flickr

Human trafficking is the greatest evil that falls upon the poor, ignorant, and vulnerable children groomed, lured, and brain-washed by corrupt adults into believing that the high life of money, sex, and drugs is the most incredible trip they could have.

They see the high life in the movies, on the Internet, hear about it from friends, and pimps and human traffickers are patrolling Facebook looking for vulnerable children to sell for sex abuse to pedophiles and child sex abusers. The poorly controlled Facebook is a grave danger to children and adults. It and other Internet platforms can lure them into abusing children and enabling human trafficking.

The Internet service providers (ISPs) operated by telecommunication corporations like PLDT, Smart, Globe, and Dito are held responsible. They allow the free passage of child sexual abuse materials corrupting the minds and hearts of children and adults. The child sexual abuse images entice the pedophiles to go out and sexually abuse children.

That is at the heart of the crime of child sexual abuse. They flout Philippine law (RA 9775), which mandates them to install blocking software. They don’t, and as a result, children are groomed and abused online and off it. Apple Corporation has said it has software that will detect child sexual abuse materials on their iPhones. Apple can see, block, and report abusers that collect them. The ISPs should have similar technology, including Microsoft, which saves and protects children. However, there is opposition to this by others who claim governments could use the technology for surveillance. That is untrue. Apple can guard the technology for its use only, which is the greater good that we must choose.

“They flout Philippine law (RA 9775), which mandates them to install blocking software. They don’t, and as a result, children are groomed and abused online and off it.”

Here is a true story of human trafficking and child abuse by so-called rescuers of trafficked children that happened recently. It all started on Facebook, where uncontrolled communication is a hunting ground for pedophiles and child sex abusers. Here, children are vulnerable to grooming and brainwashing and easily lured into “falling in love” with anyone that says they like them and admire them. That was how Lisa, 13, and Josie, 15 (not real names) happened to view sexually explicit images and become interested in having sexual experiences.

Lisa, 13, was contacted by her older sister Anna and her friend Josie, 15. Monica is a human trafficker who offers them a chance to have sex with customers, earn money, and buy drugs and gadgets. Thanks to the uncontrolled internet, Lisa was already conditioned by viewing child sexual abuse materials and chatting with sex partners online. She decided to go with Anna and Josie and meet Monica and the men to set up a sex party and meet rich foreign customers. The human trafficker Monica arranged the planning meeting held at Rico’s Restaurant. In the restaurant, Monica agreed with the three men. They would go together to the hotel where there was a swimming pool and where the girls would meet with customers and have sex and get paid.

The man planning the party (call him Nixon) arranged the meeting at Rico’s Restaurant and opened a bag of money supplied by the donors of an international charity to show them he was loaded. They fell for it and agreed to go to the party and have sex with customers. Then, Nixon and his two companions said they would like to try out the girls first and have sex with them. That same day, they took the minors to a hotel and had sex, and paid them. Anna, 19, was also sexually abused. Several days later, they held the party at the posh hotel. Nixon offered Monica money for the girls after they went swimming and met again in the room. Monica pressured Anna to accept the money on her behalf.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents arrived to arrest them all, especially Monica and two other human traffickers, within a few minutes. The girls Lisa and Josie were given to the government social worker as they were minors. When they brought them to the NBI office, they saw one of the men who had met them in the restaurant to set up the party. They wrongly believed that the three undercover agents who set up the party were NBI agents. The undercover agents were from an international child rescue charity specializing in rescuing children from human traffickers and bringing about the arrest of the traffickers. But the agents are corrupt, and they sexually abused the minors Liza and Josie and 19-year old Anna during the operation paid for by the international charity. The girls were outraged that the undercover agents had sexually abused them. They are now planning to file criminal charges against the undercover agents and the charity for using them.

The girls were outraged that the undercover agents had sexually abused them. They are now planning to file criminal charges against the undercover agents and the charity for using them.

In a letter to the Philippine National Police, the international charity confirmed the sexual abuse of the minors by the agents. The rescue charity denies that the agents worked for them. But to preserve its reputation, it has disputed the agents and says they never heard of them and refused to cooperate in identifying them by name. It is highly irresponsible and a total contradiction for what they say they stand for and a betrayal of the children they are supposed to protect and save.

The Olongapo NBI Chief, Attorney Orlando Navallo, a man of integrity and dedication to justice, has vowed to get the child abusers and bring them and their enablers to justice. He will investigate further and identify them all, he said. During another set-up rescue operation, another child rescued in Pampanga by the same charity complained that an undercover agent sexually abused her. It is corruption without mercy. It must be exposed and the culprits identified and brought to justice. That is what we must do for all children who are victims of trafficking and abuse.

Email: shaycullen@gmail.com

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