NABBED. Members of the Quezon City District Anti-Cybercrime Team arrest 35-year-old suspect Estelito Gibaga Jr. in an entrapment at a motel in Quezon City on Thursday (Oct. 6, 2022). The suspect was arrested for sexually exploiting a 14-year-old girl whom he met while playing an online game. (Photo courtesy of PNP-ACG)

MANILA – A man was arrested for sexually exploiting a 14-year-old girl whom he met while playing an online game, the Philippine National Police - Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) reported on Friday.

In a statement, ACG chief Brig. Gen. Joel Doria said 35-year-old suspect Estelito Gibaga Jr. was nabbed by members of the Quezon City District Anti-Cybercrime Team (QCDACT) inside a motel located at West Point Street, E. Rodriguez Avenue on Thursday.

Based on the report submitted by QCDACT officer in charge Lt. Michael Bernardo, Gibaga met the victim, a Grade 9 student, in a public chat of an online game where both of them were players.

After a series of conversations, they shifted the conversation to “Snap Chat” and Facebook Messenger wherein they subsequently had a "virtual" romantic relationship.

During this time, the suspect allegedly sent the victim obscene photos of “himself” and asked the victim to do the same.

Bernardo said on September 6, the mother of the victim saw her daughter chatting with the suspect in the middle of the night.

When she saw the exchange of conversations between the two, she was shocked and confronted her daughter. This was when the minor admitted to her that she is being lured by the suspect into doing obscene things.

Bernardo said on September 16, the victim and her mother appeared at the office of QCDACT to lodge a complaint against the suspect, which resulted in the planning of an entrapment operation to catch him.

On Thursday, the mother and the victim reported back to QCDACT and informed the office that the suspect and the minor would meet up to watch a movie at a mall.

This prompted the Anti-Cybercrime Team to prepare an entrapment operation.

“When the suspect and the victim met at the Gateway entrance, they went to McDonald’s to take out snacks and headed (to the motel). After entering the room, we lost no time in apprehending the suspect,” Bernardo said.

Doria, meanwhile, advised parents to keep a tight watch on the online activities of their children.

"Sexual predators are everywhere, even on online games,” he said.

The suspect is facing charges of violating the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, and Article 286 (Grave Coercion) of the Revised Penal Code, all in relation to Section 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

He is currently under the custody of the Quezon City District Anti-Cybercrime Group for booking procedures before inquest proceedings. (PNA)