There is a need for us to behave ourselves and watch out backs not only in the real world but also online. I say this because the Philippine News Agency (PNA) recently reported the news of a gamer who got arrested by the Anti-Cybercrime team of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for violating key parts of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The arrest happened in Quezon City.
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the PNA news report. Some parts in boldface…
A man was arrested for sexually exploiting a 14-year-old girl whom he met while playing an online game, the Philippine National Police – Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) reported on Friday.
In a statement, ACG chief Brig. Gen. Joel Doria said 35-year-old suspect Estelito Gibaga Jr. was nabbed by members of the Quezon City District Anti-Cybercrime Team (QCDACT) inside a motel located at West Point Street, E. Rodriguez Avenue on Thursday.
Based on the report submitted by QCDACT officer in charge Lt. Michael Bernardo, Gibaga met the victim, a Grade 9 student, in a public chat of an online game where both of them were players.
After a series of conversations, they shifted the conversation to “Snap Chat” and Facebook Messenger wherein they subsequently had a “virtual” romantic relationship.
During this time, the suspect allegedly sent the victim obscene photos of “himself” and asked the victim to do the same.
Bernardo said on September 6, the mother of the victim saw her daughter chatting with the suspect in the middle of the night.
When she saw the exchange of conversations between the two, she was shocked and confronted her daughter. This was when the minor admitted to her that she is being lured by the suspect into doing obscene things.
Bernardo said on September 16, the victim and her mother appeared at the office of QCDACT to lodge a complaint against the suspect, which resulted in the planning of an entrapment operation to catch him.
On Thursday, the mother and the victim reported back to QCDACT and informed the office that the suspect and the minor would meet up to watch a movie at a mall.
This prompted the Anti-Cybercrime Team to prepare an entrapment operation.
“When the suspect and the victim met at the Gateway entrance, they went to McDonald’s to take out snacks and headed to Guess Hotel. After entering the room, we lost no time in apprehending the suspect,” Bernardo said.
Doria, meanwhile, advised parents to keep a tight watch on the online activities of their children.
“Sexual predators are everywhere, even on online games,” he said.
The above article ended stating that the suspect will be charged for violating the following provisions of Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012: Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, the Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009, and Article 286 (Grave Coercion).
Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this recent development? Are you convinced that there are a lot of sexual predators and undesirable elements among the many users of the Internet and social media?
You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.
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