• Palace vows to cooperate in global fight vs online child sex ring

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    Malacañang on Friday said that the Philippine government will continue to work with the international community to stop incidents of child sex abuse in the country.

    “It’s a point of concern because it happens within our borders,” Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said, referring to a reports that an international probe involving Britain and Australia cracked the pedophile ring which has been streaming live sexual abuse of Filipino children over the Internet.

    “We are very much open to working with authorities from other jurisdictions to make sure that these are not repeated,” Valte added.

    According to her, the government has a good coordination with authorities from other countries in terms of these crimes.

    For instance, she cited that it was through the cooperation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) with its counterparts abroad that led to the arrest of the pedophile ring in Cebu.

    “The PNP has an existing task force which works also with the Inter-Agency Committee Council Against Trafficking [IACAT] and they do share the information. So, they are aware of some activities that take place,” she added.

    The Palace official, meanwhile, said that with the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, existing laws on child abuse may be used to prosecute the criminals.

    “Insofar as the cyber sex aspect of it is concerned, that is subject of the TRO that has been issued by the Supreme Court. But any violator or at least anybody who takes advantage of our children that way, can still be prosecuted under existing laws on child abuse,” she noted. CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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