Poe eyes Senate investigation of child pornography

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SADDENED by the reports that country has become a global source for child pornography, Sen. Grace Poe, filed a resolution calling for an investigation into the alleged proliferation of cybersex dens in the country.

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The Virtual Global task force (VGT), an international organization fighting child pornography recently identified the Philippines as among the top ten countries having rampant activities in child pornography.

“We must never allow our country to become a haven for pedophiles and a center of online prostitution,” Poe, in filing Senate Resolution 472, said.

International news reports also claimed that the country has become a “cottage industry” of cybersex and online prostitution.

The senator, who chairs the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, in calling for a senate probe also wants to find out how effective are the existing laws crafted to protect the health and welfare of women and children.

She said Republic Act (RA) 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004), RA 9775 (Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009) and RA 10364 (Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012) should have prevented child pornography and abuse in country but instead the prevalence of such activity has put the country as among the top child porn source in the world.

Poe is asking the Senate committees on youth, women, family relations and gender equality to review government policies against child pornography and trafficking of persons to strengthen and tighten existing laws.

The senator in an earlier interview noted that the implementation of the Cybrecrime law could be very useful on the country’s fight against individuals and groups behind the child pornography operation in the Internet.

She said that through the Cybercrime act, authorities would have a very effective weapon against syndicates using the cyberspace to exploit defenseless children in the country.

Poe cited particularly the role of the telecommunication companies in identifying and tracing the cybercrime syndicates in the country but a law is needed in order for the authorities to access such information from them.

“We cannot force them [telcos]to cooperate with authorities if we do not have stronger laws. Our laws must catch up with the technology,” she pointed out.

President Benigno Aquino 3rd, signed into law the Cybercrime prevention Act of 2012 on September 12, 2012. The law seeks to penalize individuals for Internet-related crimes including online theft, fraud, trafficking and hacking.

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