BENIGNO S. AQUINO’s presidency has many negative distinctions. His championship of the art of messy failure (which in Tagalog is the more juicily onomatopoeic notion of kapalpakan) reaches a zenith in his most injurious failure of all—the trebling of criminality during his tenure.
There were only 324,083 crime incidents in 2010 (from June 30 to Dec. 31 he was already President). These increased to more than a million incidents after two years and continue to increase up to now.
Now the UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) has advertised for the world to appreciate what our columnist Fr. Shay Cullen and his co-workers in the PREDA
Foundation have been working to rescue children and women from: child abuse, including child sexual abuse, and child pornography.
These have also markedly increased in these almost six years of the PNoy presidency.
Here is the first part of the Reuters news report on this embarrassing but, we presume, accurate UNICEF description of how evil we, Filipinos, are:
Reuters London report
LONDON – Poor families in the Philippines are pushing their children into performing live sex online for pedophiles around the globe in what one senior UNICEF official called a form of “child slavery.”
“There are no limits to how cruel and gross this business is—and it’s a billion, billion-dollar business,” said Lotta Sylwander, head of the UN children’s agency UNICEF in the Philippines.
She called for Internet providers to “get on board” in tackling the crime and said money transfer centers should do far more to identify abusers by tracking suspicious payment patterns.
UNICEF says the Philippines is “the number one global source of child pornography” and the “epicenter of the live-stream sexual abuse trade.”
Sylwander described how children as young as five or six are forced to perform several times a day in front of a webcam, for an hour at a time, as buyers in different time zones come online.
“It’s facilitated by mothers and fathers or close relatives. It may even happen in their home,” she added. “It’s definitely child slavery because the child has no choice.”
The pedophiles transfer money and then give instructions on what they want to see. In many cases, the child is abused by someone outside the family, but there have been cases of parents abusing their own children or children abusing each other.
Sylwander said the Philippines received 7,000 reports of cybercrime a month, half of which were related to child sex abuse.
“Our biggest hurdle is not the government, not the police; it’s getting the Internet providers to come along and say we will help you track (and) stop this,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview in London.
“My biggest concern is why don’t the Internet providers do more—how can the dark web continue to do what it does?”
Sylwander said the live-streaming of child sex had boomed in the Philippines because of the high level of English, good Internet access and well-established money transfer systems that Filipinos working overseas use to send earnings home.
Poverty is a driver, with many parents expecting their children to contribute financially.
One group of young children rescued in Manila said they were paid P150 ($3) to take part in shows.
Sexual abuse within families
But Sylwander cited other darker forces at work. Researchers in the Philippines who are carrying out a major survey on violence against children, to be published later this year, have found shockingly high levels of sexual abuse within families, she said.
There is also a legacy left over from the huge prostitution industry, which grew up around the American military bases until they closed in the 1990s. Sylwander said this had led to a tolerance of prostitution and when the Americans departed, the industry had to find other ways of operating.