(Updated 9:58 a.m.) Cyber pornography has become rampant in the Philippines, as the international watchdog Virtual Global Task Force noted, and recent raids seem to confirm this.
At least three cybersex dens, one of them inside a school, were believed busted after they were raided by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation Monday night.
The NBI anti-cybercrime unit arrested a group of men and seized several computers during a raid on a private school in Muntinlupa City.
NBI agents also raided two more cybersex dens in Quezon City.
“May nakuha tayong child pornography at adult pornography sa computers. Makikipag-coordinate tayo sa DepEd para malaman kung may kaukulang lisensya ba ito,” NBI anti-cybercrime unit head Ronald Aguto said in an interview aired early Tuesday on dzBB radio.
A separate report by dzBB’s Manny Vargas said the NBI’s initial finding showed the school’s license had been revoked.
The report also said the NBI is now looking into whether some of the students were used as cybersex “models.”
Aguto said they discovered pre-recorded pornographic material in some of the computers seized in the raid.
But a separate dzBB report quoted the owner of the school as saying the operation was conducted by a group of men who rented a room in the school compound for P20,000 a month.
The owner also denied the school’s students were used as models, the updated report added.
Raids in Quezon City
Meanwhile, the NBI also raided two more cybersex dens in Quezon City, including one at the third floor of a commercial building along Congressional Avenue.
An initial investigation showed the den was disguised as a call center.
The second cybersex den in Quezon City was an apartment along Quirino Highway.
NBI agents found pre-recorded pornographic videos in computers seized from the raids.
Hotspots for cybersex and cyberporn
The raids in Muntinlupa and Quezon City came just a few days after seven children were rescued from a suspected cybersex den in Davao City.
Investigation showed that they were made to show their sensitive parts before a computer camera in exchange for payment.
Earlier this month, the Philippine National Police said it is keeping watch over 31 provinces considered as cybercrime “hotspots” for harboring cybersex and cyberporn hubs.
Of these, 18 provinces are in Luzon, six in Visayas, and seven in Mindanao, the PNP Anti-Cybercrime group said.
“Recently napunta ang Pilipinas sa mapa [ng cybercrime] dahil nga sa child pornography issue so we have a directive to go against these child pornographers and this is one of the results of that drive,” NBI Cybercrime chief Ronald Abuto was quoted in the GMA News report.
Last January, Virtual Global Task Force, a group of international agencies against child pornography,included the Philippines in its list of top 10 countries with rampant cyber pornographic activities.
Last year, NBI recorded 59 cases of cyber pornography in the country, the television report added. — RSJ/KG, GMA News