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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

DOJ deactivates over 500 Facebook accounts engaged in marketing babies

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Over 500 Facebook accounts were taken down over their alleged involvement in the illegal sale of babies online, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has revealed on Thursday.

DOJ Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano IV disclosed the information, emphasizing that the agency’s efforts to fight online human trafficking are far from over.

Despite the considerable number of accounts already deactivated, Clavano highlighted the persistent nature of this illegal activity.

“It is still prevalent. There are still many accounts that have to be closed down,” he stated in a television interview, citing prevailing challenges.

In a bid to tackle the problem more effectively, the DOJ is currently in discussions with the Office of the President (OP).

President Marcos expressed a strong desire to address this issue, recognizing its implications for our society, according to Clavano.  

This crackdown follows the recent DOJ approval of criminal charges against Arjay Malabanan and Ma. Chariza Dizon for violating provisions stated in Republic Act (RA) 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and RA 7610 or the law that protects children against abuse, exploitation, and discrimination.

Malabanan and Dizon were arrested on May 15 in Dasmarinas City, Cavite, during an entrapment operation by the Philippine National Police-Women and Children Protection Center (PNP-WCPC). They were caught attempting to sell a newborn baby through Facebook for P 90,000.

Clavano also issued a stern warning to potential buyers, emphasizing that purchasing babies is a criminal act and those found guilty will face prosecution.

He pointed out that legal adoption processes are available and free, urging the public to follow proper legal channels. “It just needs to undergo the right process,” Clavano stressed.

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