Two major child abuse stories broke last week.
The exposé of the
deviant criminal behavior of paedophiles in the UK, America, and
Australia and the Philippines who are sexually exploiting Filipino
children through the internet, has been revealed in a BBC report which
staff of the Preda Foundation in Olongapo city help them make.
In Lucena City, an orphanage, Sankey Samaritan Mission for poor
children and youth was raided by the NBI and an American, Tom Randall
and orphanage manager Toto Luchavez and his son, Jake Luchavez, were
arrested and are charged with trafficking and child abuse based on
strong testimony of some of the 31 victims.
The web-cam internet investigation, carried out by Tony Smith and
Angus Crawford of the BBC shows that these paedophiles not only have
thousands (one had 4 million) indecent images of children on their
computer hard drives but pay gangs in the Philippines to get children to
perform sexual acts online for them to watch.
They traveled around the
Philippines interviewing police, victims and social workers helping the
children. Their next report will be to investigate the companies that
allow this to happen and enable and abet the crimes against children
through the internet.
The report that caused international reaction showed that even some
relatives and parents of the children allowed them to be trained to
perform so as to earn money. The report showed cyber-dens in Cebu city
slums where poor children are the most exploited.
Some people think that
such acts before a computer-connected camera will do no harm as the
customer is far away but one child victim said that it makes them loose
their dignity, innocence and purity. In other child web cam crimes, the
children are not alone and sex acts between young boys and girls are
The children are persuaded that it is just play and fun, but this is
severely damaging to children. Besides, the criminals doing this use the
web-cam sessions to make child pornography which they transmit across
the internet for money to paedophile who will pay for it.
It is clear also that web-cam crime against children is a warm up for
sexual assault. The paedophiles soon get so aroused, they will abuse
children in their own locality. This is not an evil done far away
against Filipino children only but it is putting the children, where the
paedophile is residing at greater risk. It is estimated that thousands
of children are abused in this way.
Philippine police blame the Internet Server Corporations and cell
phone companies for flouting the anti-child pornography law which
mandates filtering of child pornography and any sexual images of
children or illegal content passing through their servers.
9775,under Section 9, says "The duties of Internet Server Providers
(ISP) to monitor the content passing through their servers, notify the
police of illegal content and provide the authorities the particulars of
users who gained or attempted to gain access to an internet address
which contains any form of child pornography. All ISPs shall install
available technology, program or software to ensure access to or
transmittal of any form of child pornography will be blocked or
The National Telecommunications Commission ((NTC) is supposed to
oversee this also. The law says the ISPs at fault should pay a fine and
have its license to operate revoked for non compliance. But the law is
allegedly ignored, flouted and disobeyed. If so, it is a grave injustice
to the Filipino people and the children worldwide.
The other child abuse scandal broke last week was that of a wealthy
American Evangelist preacher, Tom Randall, and his Sankey Samaritan
Mission orphanage house manager Toto Luchavez and son Jake Luchavez. The
three were arrested by the NBI agents and charged in the multiple
sexual abuse and exploitation of 31 children and youth. The orphanage is
in Lucena city, south of Manila. Seven of the 31 victims are minors;
three boys and four girls.
Those minors and youth over 18 years have
made strong statements to rescuers and to the NBI that they were
systematically, sexually abused since childhood in the orphanage.
Charges based on the strong sworn statements of the many victims have
been filed with the prosecutors. The accused deny all wrongdoing.
the holding cell at the NBI headquarters, they amazingly have access to
the internet and cell phones and are organizing a defense campaign on
social media Facebook, proclaiming they are being set-up and persecuted
by the Philippine authorities. Five previous investigations were
allegedly squashed by higher authorities in Lucena city.
The victims say they were abused by the manager and his son and
begged Randall to save them but allegedly he did nothing. Police suspect
that Luchavez may have secret video evidence against Randall. This has
yet to be ascertained. He might try to turn state witness to cut a deal
with the prosecutors.
Assistant Secretary of Justice Geronimo Sy is
monitoring the case. The victims are under the care of the DSWD although
they are asking to go to a private care center where they can get help
to finish their studies and get professional therapy.
This case is a
challenge to the Philippine government, the people and defenders of
human rights to see justice done for the victims without compromise,
bribery, or skulduggery.
Fr Shay is a Columban missionary working in the Philippines.
For more informatioh see: http://www.preda.org