Palace open to coordinate with foreign authorities vs human trafficking

January 17, 2014 11:57 pm 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Jan. 17 (PNA) — Malacanang on Friday expressed willingness to cooperate with foreign authorities against human trafficking in the country following international reports of an existing web sex ring in Cebu.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, in a Palace briefing, cited Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II who has previously conveyed his readiness in the local and international collaboration.

“As Secretary Roxas said, we are ready to cooperate and not only when it comes to trafficking in children or other bad elements that use Filipinos in this crimes," Valte said.

“We have in fact, a good coordination with authorities from other countries when it comes to crimes committed there, and when (their offenders) hide here or crimes committed here involving foreign nationals,” she added.

Valte said the case of human trafficking is a point of concern because it happens within the country’s borders.

She also explained that even before international reports came out, Malacanang was already aware that the web sex ring in Cebu existed.

“The PNP (Philippine National Police) has an existing task force that works with the Inter-agency Committee Council Against Trafficking (IACAT),” she said. “They do share the information in most cases in trafficking.”

She also mentioned that the information is also passed on to the Department of Social Welfare and the Development (DSWD) so that they would also be aware.

When asked if the temporary restraining order on the Cybercrime Law would in any way affect the effectiveness fighting human trafficking, Valte said that violators can still be prosecuted.

“In so far as the cybersex aspect to it is concerned, any violator or at least anybody who takes advantage of our children… can still be prosecuted under existing laws on child abuse,” Valte said. (PNA) lgi/ANP-LBB (OJT)

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