Public warned of more online group chats, channels used to prey on children

July 20, 2022 - 1:54 PM
Illustration by Ümit Solmaz via Pixabay

Sen. Risa Hontiveros alerted the public of the presence of online groups that are seen preying on children.

In a social media post, Hontiveros said that aside from Facebook groups, Facebook messenger and Telegram were also being used by individuals to trade pictures and videos of children.

“More Facebook groups that prey on children. Please report!” the lawmaker said.

“Nakakasuklam at nakakagalit! Maliban sa mga Facebook groups, gamit na rin ng mga abusers ang Facebook messenger or Telegram para mag-usap at magbenta ng libo-libong mga pictures at videos. Ang iba, gumagamit pa ng cloud storage tulad ng Mega dahil napakalaki ng volume,” she added.

Mega is a private cloud storage service that offers 20 gigabyte of free space to its users.

Hontiveros also attached screenshots of suspicious groups and pages she was referring to on her post.

One of the photos showed a group called “ATABS” that featured a lewd comment under photos of a young girl wearing a dress. The face of the girl was blurred.

The other photo showed search results of Facebook groups that seemed to be on the lookout for young boys.

Hontiveros then called on the executive branch anew to pass the bill against online child sexual abuse she had sponsored and filed in the 18th Congress before.

“Bilang ina, mas lalo akong nangangamba sa seguridad ng ating mga anak sa internet. Kailangang maipasa na ang Anti-Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) Law para tunay na mapanagot ang mga salarin at pati ang mga social media platforms at internet intermediaries na hinahayaang lumaganap ang kabastusang ito,” she said.

The Senate Bill 2209 or the Anti-Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children (OSAEC) Act and its counterpart House Bill 10703 or the Anti Child Sexual Abuse or Exploitation Materials (CSAEM) Act were already ratified separately last May.

The bill only needs the signature of the president for it to become law.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte was unable to sign it before his term ended on June 30.

Some social media users previously made a bayanihan move to report a Facebook page and a YouTube channel called “Usapang Diskarte” that were filled content about child grooming.

These posts soon reached Hontiveros, who then called on authorities to look into these entities.

She asked the anti-cybercrime group of the Philippine National Police, Facebook and YouTube to probe the people behind these pages.

READ: Hontiveros asks PNP, YouTube, Facebook to probe Pinoy’s child grooming content 

As of writing, the channel and the Facebook page were inaccessible to the public.

In a previous report, the PNP-ACG said that it is still hunting down the individuals behind the YouTube channel.

RELATED: Redditors ask: Why did cops take long to probe child grooming content?