Philippines’ moral compass. Graphic: dollaradventureclub.com & civinate.Com
e Filipinos have always seen ourselves as devout, god-fearing, children of God, leading exemplary Christians lives. We pray a lot, go to church a lot, and occasionally practice our faith the way few Christians would. But could this professed piety be simply aspirational? Is it just a faade that hides a darker, more disturbing reality?
A recent Asia Times article that appeared in late February, noted that “Up to 80% of cybersex victims are Filipino minors.” The worst part is, the article stated that “most Filipino children are lured into the cybersex trade by family members to earn money.” The February 26, 2019 article further noted that half of the children in question were “12 years old or younger.”
In the article, Chief Inspector Michael Virtudazo, team leader of the PNP Women and Children Protection Center’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit points out that “OSEC (online sexual exploitation of children) is prevalent in the Philippines because of the accessibility of the internet. Family members act as facilitators, there is fluency in English and access to remittance centers. Virtudazo added that the victims were made to believe by their parents or guardians that their sexual acts shown online were harmless as there was no physical contact.”
The Asia Times article also noted that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), working with Philippine law enforcement officials “busted operations in Pampanga, where minors aged four to eight were rescued. The Pampanga den offered children posing naked and performing online sex.” And “over the last two months, authorities busted cybersex operations in Taguig, Butuan, Iligan and Cebu, where several suspects were arrested and minors rescued.”
The question then is: are the parents and guardians described in the Asia Time article, the exception, or the rule? In other words, are we a country where Christian morals still hold sway? Or have hard times and the disregard for human rights that plays out almost daily, turned us into a nation of desensitized, greedy individuals. So that now everything is okay, as long as what you’re doing makes money … and you don’t get caught. Have Filipinos truly lost their moral compass, and where is the country headed? Let us know what you think. Published 3/6/2019