Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday sought more support for law enforcement agents who are pursuing cases of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
Hontiveros, who principally authored the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) Law, made the statement after the Department of Justice (DOJ) declared war against OSAEC.
“I welcome the DOJ’s commitment to crack down on OSAEC. Hindi naman talaga katanggap-tanggap ang mga pang-aabusong nararanasan ng ating kabataan. Ang pinaka inaasahan natin sa mga kasong ito ay ang ating law enforcers na siyang nanghuhuli ng mga salarin at nagre-rescue ng mga biktima (The abuses experienced by our youth are unacceptable. In cases like these, we heavily rely on our law enforcers who catch the criminals and rescue the victims),” she said in a news release. “As mandated by the Anti-OSAEC Law, they should be given additional tools when surveilling and investigating OSAEC cases.”
Last month, after meeting with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Facebook representatives, Hontiveros raised the need to increase the budget of law enforcement offices across the country, especially as budget debates are coming up.
“Libo-libo ang kaso ng OSAEC pero hindi sapat ang tao na nakatutok dito (There are thousands of OSAEC cases but there are not enough people focusing on them). During my meeting with NBI, PNP, and Facebook, it was clear that our law enforcers are overwhelmed with cases, making it extremely difficult to immediately put a stop to OSAEC,” she said.
Hontiveros also expressed support for the DOJ’s call to make Internet service providers (ISPs) and telcos prevent OSAEC activities in their products and services.
She emphasized that the Anti-OSAEC Law does oblige ISPs, social media platforms, and financial intermediaries to take down, preserve, and transmit OSAEC-related materials, in cooperation with law enforcement agents. (PR)