Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) Chairperson, lauded the recent arrest of Peter Gerald Scully by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Human Trafficking Division (NBI-AHTRAD) and NBI-Region 10, even as she warned child pornography syndicates against using the Philippines as a base.
She said that the arrest of Scully, an Australian national, with pending arrest warrants and identified to be responsible for the production of a horrifying child sexual abuse and torture video, highlights both the effectiveness and resolve of the government's intensified campaign against human trafficking.
“Let notice be served to these criminal elements that the days of their child cybersex operation is numbered”, she added.
“Wherever these syndicates are, we will hunt them down and we will bring them to justice,” De Lima said. She underscored that the government “has both the will and the capability to capture these perverted elements”.
De Lima also exhorted victims and witnesses not to be afraid to seek help from anti-human trafficking authorities.
She noted that prior to the arrest of Scully, the complaint of two minor girls to the police resulted in the issuance of a warrant of arrest and led to the raid on his house by the composite team of NBI AHTRAD and NBI-Region 10.
“Law enforcement agencies like the Philippine National Police and the NBI are mandated to ensure the proper care and assistance of victims. The government will take the extra mile to protect victims and witnesses from human traffickers who employ coercive tactics,” de Lima emphasized.
De Lima cited the partnership and alliance of the Philippines with the international community against online child sexual abuse. She also urged the public to come forward with information on human trafficking activities and to help protect their fellow countrymen from sociopaths who prey on the weak to gain wealth and perverted pleasure from their suffering.
“The Government will never relent in fighting this evil, but it needs the help of a vigilant citizenry,” De Lima said.