The Filipino government has asked the Catholic Church for help.
Its Optical Media Board (OMB), the agency that regulates the manufacture, mastering, replication, importation and exportation of optical media set up under a 2003 law, wants to draft the Catholic Church in its fight against child pornography, violent movies and videogames, and rising sex crimes, many of which occur within the family.
For that reason OMB chairman Eduardo Manzano yesterday met in Manila Mgr Pedro Quintorio III, spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
The Church reiterated its “support” for the “fight against pornography and even anti-piracy campaign which is another issue,” Quitorio said.
In past inspections in five Manila commercial outlets, the OBM seized sacks of counterfeit optical media products, including DVDs, VCDs, Playstation, X-Box and PC Games, software installers as well as music CDs, MP3 discs, and pornographic optical disc products, labels, casings; all worth about 1.65 million pesos (US$ 36,000).
In one raid last Sunday at the St. Francis Square Commercial Center in Mandaluyong City, near Manila, its agents found 50 sacks (at least 15,000 pieces) of counterfeit optical media products containing pornographic material banned under the law.
The crackdown is part of a wider campaign against vice and immorality that is luring the youth.
As part of this, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim ordered the banning of students from playing computer games during class hours, in shops near their schools, colleges and universities.
These steps reflect growing concerns that many children, especially boys as young as five, are becoming familiar with sex and sexual acts.
Pornographic websites, tabloids showing naked men and women, and sometimes even sexual acts, noontime television featuring barely dressed women, bootleg pornographic movies, and even hentai cartoons are blamed for the trend.
Sex crimes involving minors is another symptom of the problem. In 2006, a total of 1,699 child-rape cases were registered: 193 incestuous rape cases; 118 cases of attempted rape; and 591 cases of acts of lasciviousness.
And these figures represent a drop compared to 2005.
From January to September 2006, there were also 151 rape cases involving minors as perpetrators and 12 attempted rape cases.
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