PHILIPPINE National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa yesterday said he has ordered a stepped-up campaign against syndicates and individuals involved in the online exploitation of children in the country, specifically those catering to pedophiles abroad.
“Go after these cybercriminals especially those who prey on women and children,” the top cop said as he emphasized the need for the PNP’s intensified drive against Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OASEC) in the country.
In many cases, police have arrested members of impoverished families in some parts of the country who have allowed the filming of their young children while naked and doing simulated sexual acts in front of web cams being viewed by their ‘pay-per view’ customers from abroad.
During the Enhanced Community Quarantine period form March 17 to June 4, the PNP recorded 3,699 cases of violence against women and children which is 44.7 percent lower than the 6,689 cases recorded from January 1 to March 16 this year.
Gamboa however stressed that although the numbers have gone down, the PNP cannot ease in its pursuit of these lawless elements saying they are fully prepared to go after these predators using modern technology.
The PNP is providing strong law enforcement support to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, and the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography along with the Department of Justice, Department of Interior and Local Government, National Bureau of Investigation, Commission on Human Rights and other agencies involved in the fight against child exploitation and abuse of women.
“I am operationalizing the ONE Network project under the PNP Directorate for Information and Communication Technology Management. This will establish network connections from the National Headquarters to the 17 Police Regional Offices nationwide,” said Gen. Gamboa in announcing one of their major efforts in the campaign.
He explained that the ONE Network will be the PNP’ main highway outside Camp Crame where the audio, video, and data communication of the PNP will pass through, making it easier to transfer information and track down cyber criminals.
“Further, we continue to strengthen our coordination with our foreign counterparts in the field of international law enforcement to track these suspects of child exploitation online who are usually foreigners in different parts of the world,” Gen. Gamboa said.
The PNP Women and Children Protection Center has urged the public to report any form of online sexual exploitation and human trafficking thru (02) 1343 or at the WCPC Hotline: 0919-777-7377 or (02) 8723-0401 local 5261. Concerned citizens may also provide information thru Messenger: @wcpcpnp.