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Three suspects were arrested, including the British man’s alleged partners in crime, and the National Bureau of Investigation seized evidence for forensic examination.
“The victims were mostly quiet in the van, but later they were ready to answer questions.
“These kids will need a safe, loving and nurturing environment during their healing process.
A shelter that will accommodate and guide them to become mature and responsible individuals,” Pelone says.
Just as authorities closed in on the Filipino accomplices, another case surfaced. A Filipino woman was allegedly pimping out girls for sex and sharing explicit images via social media.
“These cases show that while foreign and Filipino perpetrators seek to sexually exploit children online on a growing scale, IJM is ready and able to support international and Philippine law enforcement to stop the abuse and hold them accountable,” says Tanagho of IJM Cebu.
Despite the terrible nature of the crime, he has hope: “Sustained and specialized law enforcement can prevent the online sexual abuse of millions of Filipino children, just as it has with sex trafficking.” Watch a local news report on the operation.
“Foreign pedophiles like this man exploit the economic vulnerability of Filipino women to satisfy their sexual, and sometimes sadistic, appetites,” explains John Tanagho, deputy director of IJM Cebu.
On a rainy morning last week, IJM and Philippine law enforcement officials entered three homes simultaneously and safely removed the children.Most of them expressed that they are afraid and ashamed to go back to school after what happened,” said Carmelita Pelone, a senior social with IJM Cebu who was on the scene to provide support.IJM and government social workers stayed with the children throughout the weekend at the temporary shelter where they received crisis care and warm meals.On August 19, two of the Filipino accomplices were charged with child abuse and qualified trafficking, a non-bailable offense with a mandatory life sentence.