Department of Justice Declares War on Cyber Predators

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla
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The Department of Justice (DoJ) has taken a strong stance against individuals who exploit children and young people online, declaring an “all-out war” on cyber predators. Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla made this declaration on Tuesday, coinciding with the celebration of “Safer Internet Day Philippines.”

Remulla emphasized the DoJ’s commitment to prioritizing the safety of children, particularly in the realm of cyberspace. “We will always take supreme consideration of our children’s safety, especially within the bounds of cyberspace,” he stated. Addressing the cyber predators directly, he added, “I reiterate our commitment to an all-out war against those who prey on the innocent, especially children. We are watching your every move.”

The second Tuesday of February is observed as “Safer Internet Day for Children Philippines” in accordance with Proclamation 417. This annual event aims to address the vulnerability of children to various forms of online abuse and exploitation. Remulla commended the National Coordination Center Against Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children and Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (NCC-Osaec-Csaem) for spearheading the commemoration of Safer Internet Day. The center operates under the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (Iacat), which Remulla chairs, with Justice Undersecretary Nicholas Felix Ty serving as the undersecretary-in-charge.

This year’s Safer Internet Day celebration marks the first led by the NCC-Osaec-Csaem since its establishment as a new office under Republic Act 11930, also known as the “Anti-Osaec and Anti-Csaem Act.”

The NCC, along with its member agencies and affiliated non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is calling for the safety of children and youth online, the responsible use of the internet, and a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and benefits of the digital world for Filipino children. Additionally, they have pledged to strengthen mechanisms that provide immediate support and protection to children who may fall victim to online sexual abuse and exploitation.

Plan International Pilipinas, an organization dedicated to working with the government and other sectors, is actively involved in ensuring the protection of every child in the digital world. Justice Undersecretary Nicholas Felix Ty affirmed their commitment, stating, “We’re bringing our campaign against human trafficking to the digital sphere through this initiative because our efforts to address this social ill will not end as long as there are those who would want to take advantage.”

The DoJ’s declaration of an “all-out war” against cyber predators sends a clear message that the safety of children is a top priority. Through the collaborative efforts of the NCC-Osaec-Csaem, Plan International Pilipinas, and other organizations, steps are being taken to create a safer online environment for Filipino children. By raising awareness, promoting responsible internet use, and providing immediate support to victims, the fight against online child abuse and exploitation is gaining momentum.

Source: The Manila Times

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