The city government of Makati warned residents of pedophiles and other sex offenders luring teen girls online.
Mayor Abigail Binay on Wednesday called on parents to monitor web activity of their teenage daughters, and be aware of who they hang out with and where they go when they’re not in school to protect and save them from getting involved in any sexual violence.
“We can never be too careful these days. Young children tend to be gullible and easily influenced by peers, so they need constant guidance from us parents,” said Binay.
Last week, local police operatives led by Chief Insp. Roman Salazar, Jr. and personnel from the Makati Social Welfare Department busted 70-year-old Elias Umale Cosme in an entrapment operation inside his unit at One Central Makati Condominium in Salcedo Village.
Cosme, now detained at the Makati City jail and charged with Violation of Republic Act 8353 (Anti-Rape Law), allegedly luring young high school students online. He also used schoolmates of the victims to lure them to his condominium unit where he would take nude photos and even sexually assault them.
Binay said the incident should serve as a reminder to parents to “never let your guard down.” “We must also teach our children to recognize potential threats so that they could avoid being victimized,” she added.
The mayor said she was relieved that the septuagenarian suspect is now behind bars and has been subjected to inquest proceedings.
Prior to the entrapment operation against Cosme, Binay was informed about nude photos of some students from Pitogo High School circulating on social media. She immediately ordered the local police to investigate, in close coordination with school officials and city’s social welfare department.
The authorities later found out the identity of the person of interest in the case and learned that he uses “Eboy” as alias in luring the teenagers.
After a month-long probe and case build-up, the authorities set an entrapment operation when the mother of 15-year-old victim “Kate” reported to the school principal that the suspect had contacted her daughter, asking her out.
Cosme arrived at the designated meeting place at around 3:30 pm and drove off with “Kate” in a brown car. The composite team discreetly followed them until they reached One Central Makati where the suspect was arrested.
Meanwhile, Binay ordered the filing of charges of obstruction of justice against the manager and security guards of One Central Makati condominium who barred the authorities from following the suspect who had gone up to his unit at the 36th floor with “Kate” in tow.
“Their interference in a legitimate police operation had seriously compromised the safety of a minor. They must be held liable for ignoring the urgency of the situation, preventing the authorities from rescuing the victim before the suspect could do her harm,” Binay said.
Based on the police report and sworn statement of the social worker from MSWD, negotiations with security personnel and the building manager lasted for over 30 minutes, during which time the victim called the case officer, PO2 Ruthlyn Ibañes, on her cellphone, pleading to be rescued.
When the team finally made it to the 36th floor, they met the victim as she rushed out of the suspect’s unit, sobbing and trembling. The female social worker helped her to calm down, and she managed to narrate how the suspect had forcibly undressed her and sexually molested her upon their arrival at his unit.
Police recovered from Cosme’s unit evidences, including printouts of screenshots of the suspect’s Facebook account and conversations with his alleged “recruiter” on Facebook messenger, and a black Apple iPhone.
Three other victims have come to the police station to file their complaints against the suspect.
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