Iligan woman gets 23 years over online sex abuse raps

By Nef Luczon

September 30, 2022, 7:28 pm

<p>Google map of Iligan City.</p>

Google map of Iligan City.

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A female sex trafficker was sentenced to a maximum jail term of 23 years by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Iligan City after pleading guilty to charges related to Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children (OSAEC).

A press statement by the International Justice Mission (IJM) on Friday said the woman admitted culpability for the abuse of six females—four of them adults—using online platforms to perform sexual acts.

In a ruling issued on Sept. 21, the court said the woman violated of Republic Act (RA) 9208 or the "Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003," which carries a penalty of 15 years imprisonment and a fine of PHP500,000.

The court also ordered her to pay an additional PHP50,000 worth of civil liabilities for each victim.

For charges related to R.A. 7610, or the "Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act," the accused was sentenced to two years up to four years, and ordered to pay each complainant PHP50,000 for civil liabilities.

She was also convicted of violating R.A. 9775 or the "Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009" concerning R.A.10175, or "the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012."

The last violation sentenced her to another two years up to four years imprisonment, and pay civil liabilities amounting to PHP50,000 for each complainant.

IJM withheld the names of the victims including the accused since all of them were biologically related, with two of the victims being her daughter.

The accused was apprehended on July 20 this year, through an operation by the Police Women and Children Protection Center Mindanao Field Unit (WCPC-MFU) and other local law enforcement units.

Northern Mindanao Regional Prosecutor Merlynn Uy said the recent conviction was a testament to the institution's strong commitment "to continue and sustain our efforts in the fight against human trafficking in the Northern Mindanao Region."

In a separate statement, lawyer Lucille Dejito, director of the IJM Cebu program office, said plea bargaining—the process that the accused underwent in court—has reinforced the impact of deterrence for others to commit OSAEC-related crimes.

"Plea agreements during the pre-trial stage still uphold accountability of criminals under the law but spare the victims from going through the rigors of trial," she said.

IJM is a global organization that seeks to protect people in poverty from violence. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems. (PNA)