Iligan mother arrested for offering children for online sexual exploitation

MANILA, Philippines – A 33-year-old mother was arrested on Thursday, May 2, by the Philippine National Police (PNP) with the International Justice Mission (IJM) after allegedly offering children, including her own 5-year-old son, for online sexual exploitation.

The PNP's Women and Children Protection Center – Mindanao Field Unit (WCPC-MFU) arrested the woman in her home and rescued her son, two girls aged 1 and 3, and another boy aged 11. The other children are believed to be of her friends.

“Online sexual exploitation has become a convenient means of exploitation...that even the parents of these girls are willing to use their innocent children, just to earn money. Online sexual exploitation is a vicious game that must stop,” said Captain Rassel Tuliao, Officer-in-Charge of the police WCPC MFU.

The woman is set to face a case for violating the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act or Republic Act No. 9208.

According to the IJM the children were placed under the care of the Iligan City Social Welfare and Development Office and were set for interventions to stop trauma. (READ: Philippines top global source of child pornography – Unicef)

The arrest comes after a former British Army officer pleaded guilty to sexual abuse for paying Filipino “sexual abuse facilitators” to watch the abuse of children online. In one instance, he paid £31.41 (P2,111) to watch a 9-year-old girl abused.

The woman was tracked down while cops were conducting an investigative workshop sponsored by the US Department of State, Australian Federal Police, National Police of the Netherlands, UK National Crime Agency, US Federal Bureau of Investigation, INTERPOL, Queensland Police Service, and the Australian Center to Counter Child Exploitation. –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.