By Marita Moaje

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla on Monday vowed to intensify the department’s fight against human traffickers, particularly those targeting minors.

DOJ has filed multiple criminal charges before the Calamba, Laguna Regional Trial Court (RTC) against a sex peddler offering young boys to foreigners through online platforms for live sex or explicit photos and videos in exchange for money.

In a news release, Remulla said the DOJ Task Force on Women and Children and Against Trafficking in Persons (TFWCATIP) found probable cause to indict suspect Jhon Patrick Carmona for qualified trafficking in persons under Republic Act (RA) 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, as further amended by RA No. 11862 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2022.

He said the National Bureau of Investigation-Human Trafficking Division (NBI-HTRAD) received a tip from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about the distribution of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Materials (CSAEM) by Carmona.

The NBI-AHTRAD discovered an X account allegedly used by the suspect to market young boys to foreigners.

Through undercover operations, a series of communications was established with Carmona, who solicited payment in exchange for lewd materials involving minors.

Subsequently, Carmona offered to arrange a meeting with an undercover agent, during which, he offered three young boys for sexual services.

A rescue operation was then prepared where the minors were rescued and led to the arrest of Carmona.

He was charged with three counts of Qualified Trafficking under Sec 4(a) in relation to Sec 6(a) (minority of the victims); and one count of Qualified Trafficking under Sec 4(a) in relation to Sec 6(c) in large scale, considering that the crime was committed against three or more persons.

Meanwhile, the complaint for violation of RA No. 11930 (Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation for Children (OSAEC) and Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (CSAEM) was referred for further preliminary investigation.

The Task Force recommended no bail for each of the charges.

“We will never stop nor slow down our campaign against human traffickers until every single one of them falls in the hands of justice,” Remulla said.

“The government is determined more than ever to eliminate elements who continue to prey on the vulnerable sector of society-children and women, the most. Let us build a safe and healthy environment where the young are protected,” he added. (PNA)