• The internet and orphanage: Scenes of child abuse

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    Fr. Shay Cullen

    Fr. Shay Cullen

    Two major child abuse stories broke last week. The expose of the deviant criminal behavior of pedophiles in the UK, America and Australia and the Philippines who are  sexually exploiting Filipino children through the Internet has been revealed in a BBC report. Staff of the Preda Foundation  in Olongapo city helped the BBC make the report.

    In Lucena City an orphanage, the Sankey Samaritan Mission for poor children and youth, was raided by the NBI and an American, Tom Randall and orphanage manager Toto Luchavez and his son Jake Luchavez were arrested and are charged with trafficking and child abuse based on strong testimony of some of the 31 victims.

    The web cam Internet investigation was carried out by Tony Smith and Angus Crawford of the BBC shows that these pedophiles not only have thousands (one had 4 million) indecent images of children on their computer hard drives but also pay gangs in the Philippines to get children to perform sexual acts online for them to watch. The reporters travelled around the Philippines interviewing police, victims and social workers helping the children. Their next report will be to investigate the companies that allow this to happen and enable and abet the crimes against children through the Internet.

    The report that  caused international reaction showed that even some relatives and parents  of the children allowed them to be trained to perform so as to earn money.

    The report showed cyber dens in Cebu city slums where  poor children are the most exploited. Some people think that such acts before a computer-connected camera it will do no harm as the customer is far away but one child victim said that it makes them loose there dignity, innocence and purity.

    In other child web cam crimes the children are not alone and sex acts between young boys and girls are ordered up.

    The children are persuaded  that it is just play and fun, but this is  severely damaging to children. Besides the criminals doing this use the web cam sessions to make child pornography  which they then transmit  across the Internet  for money that pedophiles will to pay for it.

    It is clear also that web-can crime against children is a warm up for sexual assault. The pedophiles  soon get so aroused they will abuse children in their own locality. This is not an evil done far away against Filipino children only but it is putting the children, where the pedophile is residing at greater risk. It is estimated that thousands of children are abused in this way.

    Philippine police blame the Internet Server Corporations and cell phone companies for flouting the anti-child pornography law which mandates  iltering of child pornography and any sexual images of children or illegal content passing through their servers. Republic Act 9557, under section 9, says; “The duties of  Internet Server Providers (ISP)  to monitor the content passing through their servers, notify the police of illegal content and provide the authorities the particulars of users who gained or attempted to gain access to an internet address which contains any form of child pornography.  All ISPs shall install available technology, program or software to ensure access to or transmittal of any form of child pornography will be blocked or filtered.”

    The National telecommunications Commission ((NTC) is supposed to oversee this also. The law says the ISP at fault should pay a fine and have its license to operate revoked for noncompliance.  But the law is allegedly ignored , flouted and disobeyed.

    If so it is a grave injustice to the Filipino people and the children worldwide.

    The other child abuse scandal broke last week was that of  a wealthy American evangelist preacher Tom Randall, and his Sankey Samaritan Mission orphanage house manager Toto Luchavez and son Jake Luchavez. The three were arrested by the NBI agents and charged in the multiple sexual abuse and exploitation of  31 children and youth. The orphanage is in Lucena City south of Manila. Seven of the 31 victims are minors; three boys and four girls. Those minors and  youth over 18 years have made strong statements to rescuers and to the NBI that they were systematically sexually abused since childhood in the orphanage.

    Charges based on the strong sworn statements of the many victims have been filed with the prosecutors. The accused deny all wrongdoing. From the holding cell at the NBI headquarters they amazingly have access to the  Internet and cell phones and are organizing a defense campaign on social media Facebook, proclaiming they are being set up and persecuted by the Philippine authorities. Five previous investigations were allegedly squashed by higher authorities in Lucena city.

    The victims say they were abused by the manager and his son and begged Randall to save them but allegedly he did nothing. Police suspect that Luchavez may have secret video evidence against Randall. This has yet to be ascertained. He might try to turn state witness to cut a deal with the prosecutors. Assistant Secretary of justice Geronimo Sy is monitoring the case. The victims are under the care of the DSWD although they are asking to go to a private care center where that can get help to finish their studies and get professional therapy.

    This case is a challenge to the Philippine government, the people and defenders of human rights to see justice done for the  victims without compromise, bribery, or skullduggery

    shaycullen@preda.org, www.preda.org

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    11 Comments

    1. Keats5, can you please explain what happened? At CCC we didn’t really hear the whole story. Never heard about Internet crime again the orphans, or 31 children’s testimony. What about the two men that are not release? What did the court say about them? Please let us know the truth. Don’t feel safe sending my kids to any of the programs now, if none care to tell the truth.

      • The Philippine authorities were holding Tom Randall to examine the evidence to see if he could be charged with negligence, which would be for failure to report known abuse. Randall always said he did report the information to authorities, That would be a relatively simple thing to prove and apparently the Philippine authorities agreed he did in fact act properly.

        He was released from jail and cleared of all charges yesterday.

        The other two men, according to Randall’s wife, are still in jail. However, their charges have been significantly reduced so that they are now allowed to get out on bail. I’m not sure exactly what their charges are now, and I don’t know Philippine law. But the fact that they will be allowed out on bail is good news for their case.

      • Sorry, I see now I didn’t fully answer your question. This author is speaking of 2 separate cases, but I think they got meshed together. The one about the internet crimes is a separate case- not Randall’s.

        I also think the story about 31 abused children was another misunderstanding. There were about 31 children in the orphanage. We know for sure 2 wrote letters about kissing, which we’ve been told were later rescinded. If there are other letters, I suppose the investigators will need to personally interview those children to see what is going on there.

    2. Tom Randall is nothing more than another Joe Paterno. He sat on his ass and did nothing to help these kids. Joe Mauk had the guts to stand up for these kids when no one else would.

    3. francis bermido jr on

      Keats5, tom randall has over 22,000 supporters? Great! But how many of them have talked to the children who were allegedly abused in Sankey?

    4. francis bermido jr on

      dusty, you are so typical, blaming the victims for their plight. while parents who encourage cybersex should indeed be held liable, so too must be the customers regardless of their nationality who fuel this evil trade.

    5. francis bermido jr on

      the children deserves to be listened to and heard.
      tom randall deserves his day court.

    6. God will be the judge, however man should judge inperfect actions, there were people who warned Tom of the suspicions about some of these issues, but he did not heed the warning. I pray for all involved to receive justice in this matter, many of the children left abuse in the home, only to receive more abuse at the hands of people who should have been there refuge.

    7. The preacher is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing and the caretakers are his enablers.

      What a shame.

    8. I dont know if you meant it like i read it but it seems you are blaming foreigners when its pinoys in the philippines doing it, its foreigners who are paying to watch it but if they wernt doing it the foreigners couldnt pay them. This is how you say it & i didnt like it.

      “The expose of the deviant criminal behavior of pedophiles in the UK, America and Australia and the Philippines who are sexually exploiting Filipino children through the Internet has been revealed in a BBC report. Staff of the Preda Foundation in Olongapo city helped the BBC make the report.”

      You put the deviant criminal behaviour of paedofiles in the uk, america & australia & the philippines. What you should have said is some filipinos have been making child pornographic material & people from america, australia, the philippines & the uk have been paying to watch it. It seems to me you are saying its the fault of the foreigner instead of putting the blame of the filipina on starting this vile business.

      • Tom Randall was NOT “charged with trafficking and child abuse.” He has been living in the USA and was not even in the Philippines when these allegations surface. He was arrested primarily because of his status as the head of the mission. As of 1/21/14, he is still waiting to see if there is sufficient evidence to charge him with anything. Nor is he a “wealthy” preacher. He is a missionary, and has been living a humble life in the Philippians for years until the last few years, when he had to return to the USA because of health concerns.

        Please be careful. This is a good man who has done much for the Philippine children. He himself dedicated his life to keeping these kids safe from the very harm he has been accused of. It’s so easy to get carried away from fascinating rumors, but in this case you are hurting the reputation of a wonderful man. See the Facebook page Free Tom Randall for many testimonies of people who personally know this man. He has over 22,000 supporters from all over the world, many of whom he has personally impacted. #freetomrandall.