American faces child abuse rapsBy Joey Gabieta
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—An American is facing child abuse and human trafficking charges for allegedly recruiting boys whom he gave money for sexual favors.
The American was detained at the Tacloban police lockup cell pending resolution of a complaint for violation of Republic Act No. 7610, or Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, and RA 9208, or Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act.
Carmela Bastes, a social worker who heads the Women’s Shelter, said her group, accompanied by National Bureau of Investigation agents, rescued 11 minors at the rented house of the suspect in Sagkahan district, Tacloban City.
The American, said to be a retired engineer, was also charged with trafficking because he had asked some of the boys to recruit other boys from as far as Calbayog City, Samar.
The publication of names of both victims and suspects is prohibited under the antitrafficking law.
Bastes said the father of one of the victims went to the Tacloban City Social Welfare and Development office on February 6 to complain that the American offered to pay for his son’s education in exchange for sexual favors.
She added that the father had lost patience because his 15-year-old son had been living with the American for one year and had refused to return home.
The American reportedly asked the victims to stay with him and gave the minors money in return for the service they provided him.
A surveillance operation was conducted. When they verified the information, she said they went to the house of the suspect on February 18.
Several pornographic materials were also found in his possession, she said.