MANILA – The Philippine National Police Women and Child Protection Center (PNP-WCPC) arrested three suspected traffickers and rescued 23 victims, including 22 minors, from human trafficking and online sexual exploitation during two successive operations on Tuesday.
In a press release, the WCPC said the operations, the product of more than six months of case backlogs, were the result of international law enforcement collaboration between US security investigations Interior (HSI) and the Philippine National Police-Women and Child Protection Center (PNP-WCPC) through the Transnational Criminal Investigations Task Force (TCITF).
The first operation took place around 1:45 p.m. in the city of Taguig, led by three WCPC offices – the TCITF, the Luzon Field Unit (LFU) and the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Division (AVAWCD ).
Two suspects were arrested while 12 minors, some of whom are relatives of the suspects, were rescued by officers.
The TCITF Officer in Charge, Lt. Col. Catherine Tamayo-Cipriano, led the operation under the supervision of WCPC Deputy Chief Col. Portia Manalad.
The operation was supported by the Taguig City Police Office through Substation 9, Taguig City SWAT, the City’s Office of Social Welfare and Development, and the International Justice Mission ( IJM).
The first operation was followed by a police engagement with another suspect located in Bulacan, approximately 30 kilometers from the first location, resulting in a second operation at around 4:30 p.m.
Arrested in San Jose del Monte City, another 32-year-old suspect had ties to the two suspects arrested in Taguig.
Ten minors and one major were brought to safety. Some of them are also relatives of the third suspect.
The second operation was carried out jointly by the WCPC led by Lt. Col. Lucrecio Rodrigueza Jr. and the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group.
The San Jose del Monte City Police Bureau supported the operation, which saw law enforcement implement a search, seizure and computer data review warrant issued by Judge Maria Zenaida Bernadette T. Mendiola.
Charges being prepared for the arrested suspects include Violation of Republic Act 9208 as amended by RA 10364, also known as the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, Violation of RA 9775 , also known as the Anti-Child Pornography Act, and the violation of the RA Act. 7610, also known as the Special Protection of Children from All Forms of Abuse and Discrimination, all in conjunction with RA 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
“Truly, international law enforcement collaboration is one of the keys to combating human trafficking and online child sexual exploitation, a crime that is transnational in nature. We thank our global counterparts for working proactively with Philippine authorities to stop sex offenders and traffickers who prey on vulnerable children. Together, we can get more children to safety and protect more from restrained and deterred perpetrators,” said Brigadier General Edgar Cacayan, Head of WCPC.
Meanwhile, Attorney Reynaldo Bicol, Director of the IJM Program Office in Manila, said they are one with PNP-WCPC and global law enforcement partners to ensure a safer world. for kids.
“There is no room for impunity for a devastating crime like online child sexual exploitation. The IJM is committed to helping local and global authorities bring perpetrators to justice and to help survivors to heal and recover,” he added.
Anyone with information about online child sexual exploitation is encouraged to report the crime immediately via these PNP-WCPC hotlines: 0919-777-7377 (Smart) and 0966-725-5961 (Globe). (RP)