PNP, Australian, United Kingdom police step up drive vs online sexual abuse of kids

February 27, 2019
Oscar  Albayalde, Debbie Platz and Mark Bishop
DEAL TO FIGHT ONLINE CHILD EXPLOITATION. PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde signs a memorandum of partnership with Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz (left) and United Kingdom National Crime Agency Southeast Asia head Mark Bishop to combat online child sex abuse. Witnessing the signing held at Camp Crame is Australian Ambassador to Manila Steven Robinson. Photo by Alfred Dalizon

THE Philippine National Police yesterday widened its partnership with foreign law enforcement agencies and the National Bureau of Immigration to counter online sexual abuse of children.

The “pay-for-views” involve Filipino minors as young as three years old  who are being forced to strip naked and perform indecent acts in front of webcams being viewed by pedophiles from all over the world.

PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde led the inauguration of the first ever Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center (PICACC), which was a collective effort by the PNP Women and Children Protection Center, the NBI’s Anti-Human Trafficking Division, the Australian Federal Police and the United Kingdom National Crime Agency (UK NCA), in partnership with the International Justice Mission, to combat child exploitation.

Officials from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden supported the movement.

The officials vowed to collectively find and prosecute child offenders as  they called on everybody to speak up and report to authorities if they see signs of online sex abuse in their community.

Albayalde said the “pay-per-view” scheme is increasingly becoming prevalent in the country, where family members sometimes act as “facilitators.

The widespread use of English, high-speed internet and unregistered pre-paid SIM cards were among the factors which have contributed to the scourge.

Sex offenders and predators around the world can search online and pay for live sexual abuse of children. In some cases, kids were being forced to expose themselves  in front of webcams by their own mothers or guardians.

Australian Ambassador to Manila Steven Robinson said the opening of the Center reflect the determination of all to stop the crime.

Records showed that in 2017 alone, the Philippines received 45,645 tips related to OSEC from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Last January, the UK NCA trained PNP and NBI agents on investigating the menace.

The training and modern-day equipment, including digital forensic and analyzer kits provided yesterday by both the Australian and UK governments to the PNP and the NBI, will help increase the two agencies’ ability to gather evidence against the perpetrators.

“This not only enhances Philippine law enforcement’s ability to hold perpetrators accountable but it also strengthens their ability to do so without relying as heavily on the victim’s testimony—a welcome child protective measure,” said Platz.