Taguig City Mayor Laarni Cayetano on Wednesday urged here constituents help in the fight against child abuse, trafficking and exploitation, saying her administration will not stop until those engaged in these crimes were held accountable.
Cayetano made the call following the rescue of 12 victims of child trafficking and online sexual abuse, including a five-month old baby, in three recent police operations in the city.
The latest operation happened on May 25 when authorities rescued the baby and three other children aged three, 13 and 14 years old. Authorities arrested the mother of the four children.
According to Taguig’s City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO), which assisted the National Bureau of Investigation in the rescue operation, the mother is now under NBI custody and is facing charges for violation of the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children law, the Anti-Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials Act in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Law, and Trafficking.
On May 10, a composite team from CSWDO Taguig and Philippine National Police – Children Protection Center based in Camp Crame saved another four minors – one female and three males.
The police operation was conducted following information from Australian Federal Police officials who reported that an Australian national was involved in the minors’ online sexual abuse and exploitation.
On May 5, the Taguig City police helped agents from the Department of Justice – Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking, Philippines Against Child Trafficking, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region to rescue another batch of four minors – one 16-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl, and two 13-year-old girls.
Taguig social welfare officials said the rescued minors underwent medico-legal examinations and psychosocial intervention.
The local government will facilitate the referral of the victim survivors to shelter for long-term intervention.
Mayor Cayetano has always emphasized the need to uphold the rights of children and reiterated her commitment to child protection through her numerous programs that go beyond ensuring their safety and security.
“All forms of child abuse have absolutely no room in any society. No one has the right to deprive our children of that bright future they have ahead of them,” the city chief executive said.
“In Taguig, we will continue to do everything in our power to protect the youth from these criminal elements. Rest assured that they will continue to grow up in a safe environment that allows them to flourish as individuals and human beings,” she added.
Cayetano asked the public to continue reporting any incident of sexual exploitation, cybersex, abuse and human trafficking involving children to the city’s CSWDO hotline at 0932-2724-888.