News Release

PBBM gov’t warns against settlement of child sexual abuse, exploitation cases at brgy level

In line with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s directive, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday warned barangay officials not to settle cases of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children (OSAEC) and child sexual abuse and exploitation materials (CSAEM) at their level.

Otherwise, they will face the full extent of the law, Interior Secretary Bejamin Abalos Jr. said in a press briefing in Malacañang following Tuesday’s meeting with President Marcos on the issue.

“Ito iyong wina-warning ko lahat ng mga barangay, hindi na puwedeng mag-settle dito, hindi puwedeng mag-settle, I’m warning you, sa lahat ng mga nanood ngayon. Mga bata dito ang biktima, ito’y krimen hindi ito sasabihin kamera na nakatutok na ganoon, kasi may ganyang thinking eh, sabihin ‘di ba camera lang iyan,” Abalos said.

“No, kahit camera, ke ano iyan ito’y krimen laban sa bata. Kaya kung sino man ang makikipag-settle dito, I will make sure makukulong din kayo, I will make sure of that, we will make sure of that iyan ang proseso kaya iyan ang utos sa amin ng ating mahal na Pangulo,” he pointed out.

Abalos said such cases should not be settled at the barangay because those involved are minors and authorities should always think of the best interest of the child.

The DILG chief said authorities are going to document each case from now on and they already informed the women’s desk on how to handle cases.

Justice Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano said barangay officials may be held liable under Section 4 of RA 11930, or Anti-OSAEC Law under the clause on permitting or influencing the child to engage, participate or assist in any form of CSAEM.

“Kung negligence lang, baka admin case po iyan… ang liability. Pero kung mayroon na siyang willful negligence, meaning to say talagang he’s turning a blind eye deliberately na medyo alam niya na may nangyayaring ganoon, puwede siyang pumasok dito,” Clavano explained.

“The heaviest is life imprisonment. So, for Letters A, B, C, D, E – E iyong pinag-usapan ho natin – this act shall suffer the penalty… so violation of this act shall suffer the penalty of life imprisonment or a fine not less than two million pesos. Iyon po ‘yung penalty para sa prohibited acts po under RA 11930.”

During Tuesday’s sectoral meeting, President Marcos ordered the implementation of the comprehensive and intensive action plan to combat OSAEC and CSAEM, saying the Philippines is not a safe haven for exploiters of children.

He ordered a centralized system for detecting and reporting OSAEC cases using technology and specialized cybercrime mechanisms and wanted all relevant agencies to prioritize the protection of children and make it at the center of all programs and policies.

President Marcos also directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and all agencies to go after those engaged in making, processing, and distributing child sexual abuse materials. PND