HomeDiocesan ReportsPhilippine bishop joins calls against sex abuse of children

Philippine bishop joins calls against sex abuse of children

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga warned people to be vigilant about online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The prelate said the abuse of children online “is a more dangerous and extremely deadly virus.”

In a statement on Tuesday, May 26, Bishop Santos said human traffickers and sexual offenders are the “worst and venomous virus on earth.”

He said that these people take every opportunity “to raven our youth and even young children who are bored at home and have nothing to do but navigate the internet.”

Bishop Santos described these people as “heartless, motivated by insatiable greed, and addiction to their craving of flesh trades.”

Data from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children revealed that cases of online sexual exploitation of children in the country have increased by over 260 percent during the lockdown.

As of May 24, the center recorded 279,166 reports compared tp only 76,561 cases the same time last year.

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Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros called on law enforcers to look into online platforms, including the social media, that feature photos, stories, and acts that sexually exploit children.

The Philippines is yet to pass a law that will specifically punish online sexual offenders.

Bishop Santos, vice chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, called on authorities to “exhaust all legal means to investigate, prosecute, and punish [offenders].”

The bishop also called on the public to do what is necessary to fight OSEC.

He said families should be observant of their children especially with the use of the internet. Bishop Santos said it is important for parents to monitor who their children are talk to.

“Our Church is a mother,” he said. “A mother speaks and stands for her children, especially for the vulnerable and voiceless children,” added Bishop Santos.

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