Woman in Leyte gets 2 life terms, fined P4.2 M for sexually abusing daughter, other kids

TACLOBAN CITY – A woman received two life sentences for sexually abusing minors, including her daughter, in exchange for money from online sex offenders.

The Regional Trial Court Branch 10 in the municipality of Abuyog, Leyte found the accused guilty of qualified trafficking, child abuse, and subjecting minors to online sexual exploitation.

The trafficker was given a life sentence for qualified trafficking and another life sentence for child abuse.

She was also sentenced to a maximum of 17 years in prison for sexually exploiting minors online and was ordered to pay a total fine of P4.5 million for all three offenses.

The Philippine National Police-Women and Children Protection Center-Visayas Field Unit (WCPC-VFU) arrested the accused on Nov. 10, 2017.

They caught her in the act of offering to perform sex acts on her seven-year-old daughter and live-streamed these from her home in MacArthur, Leyte.

Her daughter was rescued during the operation along with eight other children.

The human trafficker was then charged with violations of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, the Cybercrime Prevention Act, and the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.

Regional Prosecutor Irwin Maraya explained that the prosecution maximized the available digital evidence and tapped international collaboration to prove their case.

"The conviction achieved by Prosecutor Junery Bagunas, in this case, was a big win for child protection. No child had to be put on the witness stand and be re-traumatized," he said.

"This outcome demonstrates the effectiveness of child-protective approaches in prosecuting online child sexual exploitation cases,” he added.

Lawyer and IJM Cebu Director Lucille Dejito hailed the conviction as a huge win for global collaboration as it stemmed from the arrest of Philip Chicoine, a Canadian offender who paid the Filipino trafficker to live stream the abuse of minors.