MANILA – Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday said the conviction of American pedophile David Timothy Deakin proves that the country's justice system remains functional.
"This is proof that if law enforcement agencies, the prosecution service, and the judiciary put their heart and resources into it, modern technology could be harnessed to expedite our criminal proceedings," Guevarra said in a press statement.
Judge Irineo Pangilinan Jr. of the Angeles City Regional Trial Court Branch 58 sentenced Deakin to life imprisonment plus PHP2-million fine for three counts of "large-scale qualified trafficking in persons" on May 26.
He is the first person to be convicted of trafficking offenses through online proceedings in the Philippines amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
On April 20, 2017, agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Anti-Human Trafficking Division (NBI-AHTRAD) arrested Deakin in a rented house in Angeles City, Pampanga where he was found in possession of computer hard drives containing incriminating child exploitation materials, sex toys and drug paraphernalia following a tip from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Deakin had been recording the abuse and selling it to foreign customers online.
NBI-AHTRAD chief Janet Francisco said the development shows that they are "strongly pursuing those who abuse our children and exploit them through the internet". (PNA)