Money transfer firms should avoid clients that are involved in cyber-pornography or risk being held liable as well.
This was what Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy sought in an answer to the Provincial Board (PB) Members’ query on how they can help find solution against the proliferation of cyber-pornography in Cordova, the most densely-populated town in the province of Cebu.
Mayor Sitoy appeared at the PB regular session last Monday (June 17) upon the invitation of the board members. Also present were Cebu Provincial Police Office Chief Police Senior Superintendent Patrocinio Commendador, Ibabao Barangay Captain Chito Bentazal, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) Officer-in-Charge Evelyn Senajon, and Department of the Interior and Local Government Provincial Head Jerome Gonzales.
The recent raid of the cybersex den in Barangay Ibabao- roughly two years after first two cases were recorded- casts another bad light on the town. The mayor urged the board members to pass a provincial ordinance that would regulate the money transfers to ease out the problem before the town of Cordova will become synonymous with cyber-pornography.
The mayor believed fast buck is the main reason child pornography thrives in the town and worst; it is the parents themselves who compel their children to perform sex scenes before a live webcam.
But this will not happen if there is a province-wide ordinance, enjoining money conduit firms to disengage in doubtful transactions, according to the mayor, who was mystified why the money conduit firms were not arrested by the law enforcement agencies when it raided the cybersex den in Barangay Ibabao last month.
“Way mosugot nga mopasalida sa ilang lawas kung way masapi so ato ning kuralan ang agi-anan sa kwarta… Require these trading firms in transferring money to look into the circumstances ning mga transferees sa kwarta kay kung kadudahan paingon na na sa cybersex for example,” he said.
While the mayor was disappointed on the negative publicity the town endured with the recent events, PB Member Jose Ribomapil Holganza, however, lauded the government officials and the people in Cordova for their cooperation with the arresting authorities.
“It just so happen that in Cordova, we have many informants on the illegal activity. And because of that the law enforcement agencies have successfully raided the cybersex dens,” Holganza said. Commendador also reported that the crime is not only persistent in Cordova, it also existed in some parts of the province. In 2011, with the help of United States Department of Homeland Security, the police authorities also raided a cybersex den Consolacion, Daanbantayan, and Talisay.
The board members were also looking at the socio-economic aspect of the problem. Senajon apprised them that together with other government agencies they have conducted consultative meetings with the people in Barangay Ibabao and they will submit a proposal to the mayor about their plans.
She said currently PSWDO has loan assistance programs for out of school youth, solo parents, and mothers that they can avail of.