Church looks at collaboration to address cybersex cases

THE local Catholic Church is looking at collaborating with the authorities to address the series of cyber pornography cases involving children in Bacolod, which has been tagged as one of the cybersex hotspots in the country.

Fr. Jonas Sumagaysay, spokesperson of the Diocese of Bacolod, said Sunday, July 16, that there should be a collaborative effort among the church, the authorities, and the local government officials to end these prevailing cases victimizing minors.

READ: Bacolod City listed as cybersex hot spot

Sumagaysay, who expressed alarm over the series of cybersex incidents, said various sectors should “double their efforts” to prevent these from happening again although it would be challenge considering the technology these days.

“We have to double our efforts not only in the campaign against illegal drugs and gambling, but also in this (cybercrime),” he said.

Sumagaysay said they have to educate and empower the families as the victims of cybersex crimes are children.

In the past two months, several minors were rescued in three entrapment operations from suspected cybersex dens in Bacolod after their mothers and relatives sexually exploited them online.

In the first operation on May 5, three minors were rescued after one of them was offered to a customer in Australia while the second operation led to the rescue of a girl exploited by her own mother.

Two months later, six minors, including a two-year-old boy, and a female adult were rescued while a woman, who exploited her two minor children and two nieces, was arrested on July 13.

Superintendent Maria Shiela Portento, head of Women and Children Protection Center-Operation Management Division based in Camp Crame, had earlier said that Bacolod is considered as a “place of interest” as it already has three cases in a short span of time.

The authorities are getting information from their foreign counterparts like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Australian Federal Police, and if the reports showed the same locations, it’s already an indicator that the locality is a hotspot, she added.

Senior Superintendent Jack Wanky, acting director of Bacolod City Police Office, said there is an active cyber patrolling nationwide, including Bacolod.

He said the authorities need the help of the community and the local officials to stop cybercrime cases.