Palace: Gov't commitment vs child exploitation anchored on solid legal basis

January 20, 2014 10:23 am 

MANILA, Jan. 19 — The government has solid legal basis in fulfilling its commitment to protect children from exploitation, including that by child pornography syndicates, Malacañang said Sunday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said this includes the 1987 Constitution and international treaties signed by the Philippines.

"Ang commitment ng bansang Pilipinas sa pagkalinga at pagbibigay proteksyon sa mga bata ay matagal nang naitakda sa ating Konstitusyon sa pagtalima natin sa mga pamantayan ng United Nations at iba pang pandaigdigang organisasyon at sa mga pambansang batas na naipasa ng ating Kongreso (The Philippines' commitment to protect children from exploitation is mandated by our Constitution and by our compliance with the standards of the United Nations and other international organizations as well as laws passed by our Congress)," Coloma said on state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

He cited Act No. 1670, the first child welfare-related law, which was passed on July 8, 1907.

Also, he said the country has a Child and Youth Welfare Code that became law in 1974.

The Philippines also ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children in 1990, he added.

"Sa atin pong mga batas, pinapahalagahan ang responsibilidad ng mga magulang at ang papel na ginagampanan ng pamilya at tahanan, komunidad, simbahan, at ng pamahalaan (In our laws, we value the responsibility of parents and the roles of the family, the home, the community, the Church, and government)," Coloma said.

He added the protection extends to all children, including dependents, those that are neglected, and those with disabilities.

Coloma added the government has set up an Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) headed by the Vice President, with the Department of Justice as the lead agency.

He added the Philippine National Police set up units to combat transnational and cyber crimes, while the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group is going after cyber-pornography rings in Metro Manila, Angeles City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Cebu.

"Ang child pornography at child abuse ay sakop ng mandato ng IACAT sapagka't ang mga krimeng ito ay isinasagawa sa pamamagitan ng pagsasamantala sa mga batang ginagawang instrumento ng kalakal (Child pornography and child abuse fall under the mandates of IACAT because these offenses exploit children and make them tools of trade)," he said.

Meanwhile, Coloma called on citizens to support the government fight against child pornography and exploitation.

"Huwag po nating payagang sila ay mapariwara at mapagsamantalahan ng mga kriminal at ng mga sindikato (Let us not allow our children to be exploited by these criminal syndicates)," he said. (PNA)

CTB/PCOO/RSM

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