Press Release
May 18, 2021


May 18, 2021

Mr. President, dear colleagues, magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat. I rise today to sponsor Committee Report No. 257 or an Act Providing Special Protections Against Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC).

In 2015, our brave law enforcement agents managed to arrest Peter Scully, an Australian national who streamed the sexual and physical abuse of three children -- Liza (aged 12), Cindy (11) and Daisy (18 months). Ang kanyang pinaka-notorious na video sa kanyang pay-per-view site ay may title na "Daisy's Destruction." Opo, isang video na nagsasalaysay ng panggagahasa at pananakit ng isang 18-month old na batang babae. He was deemed the world's worst pedophile.

Mr. President, the Philippines is one of the global hotspots of child sexual abuse and exploitation committed on online platforms. While the case of Peter Scully truly stands out, the statistics are staggering. According to the UNICEF in 2016, we were one of the top ten countries producing child sexual abuse and exploitation materials. The youngest recorded Filipino victim of OSAEC was a 2-month-old baby. At nakakalungkot ngunit hindi nakakagulat, umakyat pa lalo ang mga kaso ng OSAEC ngayong panahon ng pandemya. According to the Department of Justice, cases of OSAEC in the Philippines increased by 264.6 percent during the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine from March to May 2020. Ang kadalasan na primary traffickers? Mga magulang, immediate family members, o di kaya mga kapitbahay o miyembro din ng community. The International Justice Mission actually reported that in 87% of cases, a female trafficker was involved, usually the mother or close female relative.

The call to end OSAEC is therefore urgent. But it is equally important that, -- because of the unique features and the peculiar difficulties of the crime considering its online and often transnational element -- we make sure that the tools we use are good tools. I am proud to say that this bill is the product of several rounds of consultations with various stakeholders - mula sa mga NGO na gumagawa ng mga rescue operations on the ground, to law enforcement agencies like the DOJ-IACAT and the NBI and even international law enforcement agencies like the US Homeland Security, to the private sector stakeholders like ISPs, telcos, and electronic money issuers. My office even held bilateral meetings with Facebook and with Google because if we want to strategically address OSAEC, we really need the buy-in of internet intermediaries and social media networks. After all, according to global reports, Facebook messenger was responsible for 16.8 million of the 18.4 million reports of child sexual abuse material - or 91% of the total.

What does this bill do exactly? Here are some salient features. First, it defines and penalizes OSAEC as a specific crime, and distinct from offenses under RA 7610 and RA 9208. It builds on the gains of RAA 9775, the Anti Child Pornography Act of 2009, which sought to make the ISPs accountable. Senator Joel was one of the principal authors of that law. Second, it provides additional tools for law enforcers to pursue perpetrators of OSAEC, especially those who are hiding under the veil of anonymity provided by online platforms. Third, it imposes additional duties on internet intermediaries, including social media networks (like Facebook), such as the blocking and removal of child sexual abuse or exploitation material within twenty four (24) hours from receipt of notice, the preservation of evidence in their possession, and the development and adoption of systems and procedures for preventing, blocking, detecting and reporting of OSAEC cases. Fourth, it prohibits the entry into the Philippines of all convicted perpetrators of OSAEC or similar or equivalent crimes in other jurisdictions, or those aliens reported to or being monitored by Philippine law enforcement authorities for conducting OSAEC activities. Fifth, it creates the National Coordination Center Against OSAEC (NCC-OSAEC) which shall be lodged under the DOJ-IACAT and shall be the point-of-contact and coordination system for the receipt of cyber-tipline reports. Finally, it mandates a gender-responsive, age-appropriate, child-friendly, victim-centered and trauma-informed set of protocols for reporting, detecting, investigating, prosecuting and providing aftercare assistance and support in OSAEC cases.

Mr. President, dear colleagues, sa bawat Peter Scully na inaaresto at sinesentensyahan, napakadami pang mga nakakalusot at nakakapuslit. Wakasan na natin ito. Iligtas natin ang mga iba pang maaaring maging si Daisy. Marami pong salamat.

*Please see attached Committee Report No. 257

News Latest News Feed