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Cyber child porn operation discovered in Muntinlupa school


(Updated 10:52 a.m.) The child porn operation was concealed in plain sight – not in a private secret dwelling but in a school where the porn syndicate rented a room.

Interviewed by GMA News, Atty. Puring Martinez, owner of 
the private school in Muntinlupa City, said she rented the room out to the syndicate because the tuition she charges students was not enough to cover her costs, including the scholarships that she gives to some of her wards.

She said she knew that what the group was doing was "naughty."

"Actually po, ang totoong reason, financial, kasi mababa lang ang tuition ko rito, tapos mayroon pa akong 22 scholars. Hindi po kaya ng tuition na magpa-sweldo," she said in the same report.
 
"'Yung link na maibebenta, mabubuksan lang 'yon ng foriegner na maga-a-ano ng card niya," she said, noting that the links leads to "naughty" pornographic materials.

Radio dzBB earlier posted a tweet naming the school as Mountaintop Christian Academy.



Ferdinand Abejon, alleged operator of the cybersex chat hubs, however, denied any illegal activity in their operation.
 
"Wala namang nakitang babae, walang less than 18 [years old]. Walang webcam ang opisina namin. Connected daw itong tatlo sa akin, which is hindi naman totoo," he said in an interview aired on GMA News TV's News To Go.
 
"May nakuha tayong child pornography at adult pornography sa computers. Makikipag-coordinate tayo sa DepEd para malaman kung may kaukulang lisensya ba ito," NBI anti-cybercrime unit head Ronald Aguto said in an interview aired early Tuesday on dzBB radio.

The cyber porn room shown on GMA News TV appeared like a normal school computer lab with work stations. The young men arrested at the site were herded into a classroom where they sat in desk chairs like delinquent students.

The school-based operation was one of at least three cybersex dens that were raided by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation Monday night. Two others were in Quezon City.
 
Last January, Virtual Global Task Force, a group of international agencies combating child porn, included the Philippines on its list of top 10 countries with rampant cyber pornographic activities.

DzBB reported that the school operation was conducted by a group of men who rented a room in the school compound for P20,000 a month.
 
The owner denied the school's students were used as models.
 

A separate report by dzBB's Manny Vargas said the NBI's initial finding showed the school's license had been revoked. 
 
The NBI is looking into whether some of the students were used as cybersex "models."
 
Aguto said they discovered pre-recorded pornographic material in some of the computers seized in the raid.

Raids in Quezon City
 
Meanwhile, the NBI also raided two more cybersex dens in Quezon City, including one at the third floor of a commercial building along Congressional Avenue.
 
An initial investigation showed the den was disguised as a call center.
 
The second cybersex den in Quezon City was an apartment along Quirino Highway.
 
NBI agents found pre-recorded pornographic videos in computers seized from the raids.

Hotspots for cybersex and cyberporn

The raids in Muntinlupa and Quezon City came just a few days after seven children were rescued from a suspected cybersex den in Davao City. 

An investigation showed that they were made to show their sensitive parts before a computer camera in exchange for payment.

Earlier this month, the Philippine National Police said it is keeping watch over 31 provinces considered as cybercrime "hotspots" for harboring cybersex and cyberporn hubs. 
 
Of these, 18 provinces are in Luzon, six in Visayas, and seven in Mindanao, the PNP Anti-Cybercrime group said.
 
“Recently napunta ang Pilipinas sa mapa [ng cybercrime] dahil nga sa child pornography issue so we have a directive to go against these child pornographers and this is one of the results of that drive,” NBI Cybercrime chief Ronald Abuto was quoted in the GMA News report.
 
Last year, NBI recorded 59 cases of cyber pornography in the country, the television report added. — With Amanda Fernandez/RSJ/KG/HS, GMA News