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Police rescue 4 minors and 1 adult, arrest 2 suspects in back-to-back operations against online sexual exploitation of children

Authorities rescued 5 victims and arrested 2 suspects in two separate operations against online sexual exploitation of children in Metro Manila as the month of May came to a close.

The first operation took place in Mandaluyong City on 24 May, and stemmed from a complaint filed at the local police station which was then referred to the Anti Trafficking in Person Division of the Women and Children Protection Centre.

Law enforcers from the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Centre (PNP-WCPC) immediately took action as they pursued the complaint. Police successfully conducted an entrapment and rescue operation in one of the Barangays within the area. During the operations, police were able to arrest one 27-year-old male suspect and rescue three minors, one (1) female, 16 years old and two (2) male victims, 15 and 16 years old.

The second operation took place in Taguig on 26 May, and stemmed from a referral from the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Law enforcers from the PNP-WCPC along with other local authorities and with the support of the United Kingdom National Crime Agency (UK NCA), the AFP and IJM conducted the second entrapment and rescue operation in Bonifacio Global City.

Rescued in this operation were two male survivors, 17 and 19 years old. Arrested at the scene was one 23-year-old male suspect.

“These successful operations serve as a warning for all traffickers who livestream the sexual abuse and exploitation of children to paying offenders abroad. This crime may be profitable, but it does not pay. It is a serious offense with serious consequences, including potential lifetime imprisonment. The Philippine National Police, through the Women and Children Protection Centre, is relentless in our pursuit to restrain traffickers and safeguard more children from the trauma caused by this crime,” said PBGEN Alessandro Abella, Chief of WCPC.

Speaking about the Taguig operation, Australian Federal Police Senior Officer to the Philippines, Detective Superintendent Andrew Perkins, stated: “The Australian Federal Police, a partner agency of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre (PICACC), referred intelligence into the Philippine National Police and the PICACC leading to a PNP led investigation and operation resulting in the arrest of an alleged child sex offender and removal of alleged victims from harm. This operational outcome further highlights the effectiveness of the PICACC, collectively bringing together capabilities of all PICACC partner agencies to drive a collaborative response to counter the sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines.”

The suspects will be charged with violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, and the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. All survivors rescued in these operations are now safe with local social services.

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