OSAEC ERADICATORS.  Senator Risa Hontiveros (5th from right) poses for a photo with representatives from Facebook, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Philippine National Police after discussing the continuous propagation of child sexual abuse and exploitation materials online on on Wednesday (July 27, 2022). All stakeholders agreed to work together in eradicating Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC). (Photo courtesy of Office of Senator Risa Hontiveros) 

MANILA – Senator Risa Hontiveros, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Facebook have reached an agreement on Wednesday to effectively implement the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) Bill by the time it lapses into law on Thursday.

Hontiveros, the principal author and sponsor of the measure, said they also agreed to implement the three-step response in incidents of online sexual abuse and exploitation.

"Yung tatlong (The three) steps na (that is the) immediate to take down nung mga (of) offensive materials pati (and) sites na nangangalakal sa (that exercise) online sexual abuse and social exploitation of children kasabay ng (simultaneous with the) preservation of evidence at yung (and the) transmittal nung mga ebidensyang yun sa ating mga (of evidences to our) law enforcement authorities para sa kanilang (for their) law enforcement operations and case build-up," she said in a press briefing together with PNP's Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division chief Col. Mary Grace Madayag and NBI Cybercrime Division chief Agent Christopher Paz.

Stressing the importance of the role of local government units (LGUs), the community, and parents in the prevention of this OSAEC, Madayag assured that the PNP is always ready to help the victims.

"Sa part ng PNP, mayroon po kaming (On the part of PNP, we have) women and children protection desk officers sa lahat po ng (in all) police stations na pwede nyo pong dulugan ng tulong, mayroon din po kaming (that can be asked for help, we also have) anti-cybercrime group na pwede ninyong puntahan at mayroon din po tayong (that you can visit and we also have) women and children protection center na nandito sa (located here in) Camp Crame and we have offices in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao na pwede ninyong puntahan kung sakali kayo po ay may gustong i-share sa amin o i-report sa amin na nabiktima ng OSAEC na ito (that you can visit if ever you want to share or report to us who was a victim of this OSAEC)," she said.

Meanwhile, Paz finds Anti-OSAEC Bill is timely to be passed into law citing the rise in number, not only OSAEC cases but also other online crimes since the start of the pandemic.

"Kami po ay natutuwa dahil ito pong batas na ito ay mapapa-igting pa po ang pagsugpo sa mga ganitong klaseng krimen (We are glad because this law will strengthen our efforts to eradicate this kind of crimes)," he said.

Like the PNP, Paz said NBI is eyeing a multi-sectoral approach with the help of the legislative department, other stakeholders, social media platforms, and internet service providers.

Hontiveros said that Facebook is very willing to help the executive department in crafting the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Anti-OSAEC bill if it lapses into law.

"Inuna po namin ang (We met first with) Facebook dahil doon po talaga ang pinakamaraming (because it has the highest number of) engagements nating mga Pilipino (of us Filipinos) and unfortunately, platform, na kinakasangkapan pati para sa mga (that is being used for all the) OSAEC crimes," the lawmaker said.

She also vowed that her committee will continue to monitor the implementation of Anti-OSAEC Bill if lapsed into law.

Hontiveros recently sounded the alarm over Facebook groups "Atabs" and "LF Kuya and Bunso" which were monitored posting images of minors to attract sexual predators.

The lawmaker also observed that these Facebook pages are selling children's photos and videos using other messaging apps like Telegram.

If passed into law, Anti-OSAEC bill will penalize offenders that could go as far as reclusion pertpetua or life imprisonment and a fine that could go as high as PHP20 million. (PNA)