The Department of Justice on Sunday vowed to intensify the government’s campaign against all forms of online human trafficking following reports that students are offering a “Christmas sale” of their sensual photos and videos to buy gadgets for their distance-learning classes.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the National Bureau of Investigation and the DOJ’s Office of Cybercrime will step up their efforts to locate and apprehend individuals and syndicates involved in human trafficking activities in the Philippines.
Reports showed that unscrupulous individuals have taken advantage of the lockdown imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people lost jobs and were forced to stay at home to stem the spread of the deadly virus.
“The DOJ, through its Office of Cybercrime, and the NBI’s Cybercrime Division, will intensify their efforts to crack down on cybercrimes and all forms of human trafficking through the Internet, which are expected to rise during these times of limited physical movement and interaction,” Guevarra said.
Reports reaching the Senate committee on basic education showed students holding a “Christmas sale” of sensual photos and videos wherein their earnings are used to buy the gadgets that they reportedly need for their distance-learning classes.
This paved the way for the filing of Senate Bill 1794 seeking to allow regional courts, in cases involving child trafficking, to authorize law enforcers to conduct surveillance and record communications and information involving people charged with or suspected of trafficking.
“We welcome the possible enactment of a new law that would strengthen the legal framework for the government’s campaign against human trafficking in cyberspace, particularly the online sexual exploitation of children and minors,” Guevarra said in welcoming the proposed legislative measure.