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Asia-Pacific

Filipina to serve up to 23 years in prison for trafficking 8-year-old daughter

ILIGAN CITY, THE PHILIPPINES – A female trafficker will spend up to 23 years in jail after pleading guilty to offences related to online sexual exploitation of children, including her own daughter.

A Regional Trial Court handed down the decision on 24 November 2021, after the woman pleaded guilty to four charges:

  • 15 years’ jail and a fine of P500,000 (about A$14,000) for attempted trafficking;
  • From two years and two days to four years, eight months and two days in prison for two child abuse offences;
  • From two years, four months and one day to four years and two months in prison for a fourth offence; and,
  • Payment of P50,000 (about A$1,400) in civil liabilities for each of the four cases.

Accordingly, total prison time will be between 19 years, four months and four days and up to 23 years, 10 months and two days.

Members of the Philippine National Police’s Women and Children Protection Center – Mindanao Field Unit (WCPC-MFU) arrested the woman on 27 June 2019, and brought four children to safety. One of the children was the woman’s then 8-year-old daughter whom she offered for livestreamed sexual abuse in exchange for money from sex offenders online. Her infant son was also considered at-risk and rescued.

The other children were two girls (aged three and 11 at the time), also offered by the woman for online sexual exploitation. All four children have been reintegrated into the community but are undergoing rehabilitation.

“We at the WCPC will not stop until all facilitators of online sexual exploitation of children are brought to justice,” affirmed Police Brigadier General Alessandro Abella, Chief of the Women and Children Protection Center.

“This is another big step in our continuing fight against human trafficking, one that is being fought along with non-government organisations which share the same advocacy such as the International Justice Mission (IJM),” said Regional Prosecutor Merlynn B. Uy.

A week earlier, on 18 November 2021, the same court also sentenced one male trafficker and his female accomplice for offences related to online sexual exploitation of children.

For her part, Atty. Lucille Dejito, Director of IJM Cebu Program Office, said:

“This conviction is a testament to how the pillars of the justice system – law enforcement, prosecution and aftercare are working together to end the cycle of abuse, protect more vulnerable children and support the healing and restoration of survivors.”

IJM commends the close collaboration of Philippine police, the Department of Justice, social services and local government in making the community of Iligan City safer for children, one successful rescue and conviction at a time.


Note to Editors:

  • IJM is withholding the name of the perpetrator to protect the children’s identities.
  • The Terminology Guidelines for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, also known as the Luxembourg Guidelines, prescribes the use of the term “child sexual abuse material” or “child sexual exploitation material” instead of “child pornography”, except when referencing the name of statute. Sexualised material that depicts or otherwise represents children is a representation, and a form, of child sexual abuse and should not be described as “pornography.”

*Stock image.

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