The photograph in itself is a kind of pornography of the wealthiest oligarchs, tycoons, money-magnets, business moguls, elite Industrialists, rogue capitalists, barons of industry and financial tyrants and heads of corporate conglomerates. Some ethical business people, call them what you will but words fail me. They are among the estimated some .0001 percent of the Philippine mega-rich that own and control the entire economy of 103 Million Filipinos.
The Philippines has 21 billionaires, according to Forbes Magazine, with a record number this year. The richest – retail and property mogul Henry Sy – has a net worth of US$13.7 billion (S$19.6 billion, P685 billion)). They take their place among the world’s richest people, eight of whom, according to an Oxfam report, own more wealth than half the people in the world.
The Philippine tycoons stood with President Rodrigo Duterte for the photograph in the Presidential Palace last Tuesday 17 January 2017 to capture the moment for posterity. They joyfully feasted and talked business for three hours over a sumptuous meal that would have fed 200 people for a week. These are the very people that the president vowed to bring down. He may be fattening them up for the kill.
“The only way for deliverance of this country is to remove it from clutches of the few people who hold the power and money,” Duterte said last 23 November 2016. The president had previously warned the telecoms corporations such as Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co and Globe Telecom to change their monopolistic ways. They are the leading Internet server providers and are allegedly in violation of the Anti-Child Pornography Law of 2009 for failing to block child pornography on their servers.
Last August 2, 2016 President Rodrigo Duterte promised he would destroy the Philippine “oligarchs.” On another occasion, he said he would destroy the corrupt business tycoons and moguls. “I am fighting a monster… Believe me, I will destroy their clutches in our nation,” Duterte said at an environment summit in southern Davao City last year.
Now to the relief of the business elite, moguls and tycoons, a more compassionate, understanding, forgiving and business-friendly President has emerged during the night of feasting to welcome the “Monsters” into his dining hall. Hopefully he warned them to share their vast wealth and invest in the poorer regions of the Philippines and to pay just wages.The poor are so poor some trade in small amounts of drugs but the drug barons benefit and are untouchable. Other poor people sell their children to the cybersex operators connected to the Internet through the PLDT, Sun, Smart and Globe internet servers. These criminals send live images of children being sexually abused to foreign customers around the world and collect payment at Western Union and other money transfer stations.
Child pornography and cyber-sex involving minors is a heinous crime against the person and dignity of the child. The Philippines is becoming a leading source of these illegal images and children are being abused in the making and distribution of them. The child porn images are spread around the world through the Internet and the Internet service providers in every country that do not have filters and blocking technology are aiding and abetting these crimes against children.
If President Duterte is true to his word to challenge and bring the tycoons of the Philippine ruling elite to develop the country, he could start with Manny V. Pangilinan, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of PLDT, Suncellular and Smart. He and his company are bound by law to filter and block every pornography web site that carries child pornography. The 2009 anti-child porn law is very clear and explicit. The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in 2014, through Memorandum Circular No. 01-01-2014, ordered ISPs to “install available technology, program or software that will block access or filter all websites carrying child pornography materials” within 120 days from the submission of a list of these solutions to the Inter-Agency Council Against Child Pornography (IACACP).
They have not complied. It has been announced in the media last week that only three pornography websites containing child images are now blocked. This is an insult to the law, the government National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Secretary of the Cabinet Leoncio (Jun) Evasco, representative of President Duterte, and to whom the commissioners must report. There are hundreds of child pornography websites in cyberspace. The Philippine ISPs must by law install total blocking software. But they defy the law and refuse to do it in the interests of profit-making and expanding their vast wealth at the expense of the abused children.
In the Philippines the telephone companies are violating the law by not having these filters in place as demanded by the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009 otherwise known as RA 9775. They have seemingly placed themselves above it and seem to have some government officials in their pockets. In addition to the anti-child pornography law, they are also allegedly violating with impunity the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of 1995 or RA 7925 and Executive Order No. 546 issued in 1979. The tycoons are now dining with the President hoping that he will overlook their crimes of ignoring the law and exploitation and aiding and abetting the abuse of vulnerable children. The President and Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco will surely hold them to account and protect the Filipino children from this horrific heinous cybercrime of child sexual abuse.