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

July 19, 2022 - 5:44 PM
People wearing balaclavas are silhouetted as they pose with a laptops in front of a screen projected with the word 'cyber crime' and binary code, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

The police’s anti-cybercrime group earned some ire online for its remark about the recent online movement to take down the YouTube channel with content suggesting ways on how to groom a minor.

The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) on July 15 said that its efforts to hunt down the individuals behind the YouTube channel “Usapang Diskarte” were hampered after it went viral.

In a report by GMA News on July 15, Police Lieutenant Michelle Sabino, PNP-ACG spokesperson, said that the unit has been tracking the people behind this channel since March.

“It takes time. Kasi kailangan kumagat siya sa bait eh. You have to understand na mayroong kailangang i-undercover…Kaya lang naging viral na siya. That’s what’s hard. Syempre hindi na namin mae-engage ‘yun dahil alam na niya na out in the open na mino-monitor na siya,” Sabino was quoted in the report as saying.

READ: Calls to report Pinoy YouTube user for alleged child grooming mount online 

As of writing, the channel has already been taken down.

Some Filipinos also reported that the Facebook page became inaccessible.

Based on a report, Meta, Facebook’s parent company, removed both the group and page in question.

“There is no place on our apps for child sexual exploitation and we have removed the Group and Page for violating our Community Standards,” Meta said in a statement.

Some Redditors, meanwhile, took offense to the PNP-ACG’s remark about thwarting its supposed investigation.

One of them posted a screenshot of the GMA News article about it on the subreddit r/Philippines.

“Sorry sa ating kapwa Redditor na nagsumbong sa NBI…na credit grab ka. Hehe. March pa daw sila nag monitor,” the user said.

The post was upvoted 1,997 times on the forum.

Some members of this community were not convinced that the police unit was monitoring the case for around four months.

“Simpleng redditor nga na may laptop lang sa bahay nakagawa ng paraan, kayo tagal niyo na pala alam ngayon lang kayo umaksyon. Partida may pondo pa kayo,” one Redditor said.

“They were monitoring the channel four months ago but didn’t do sh**? Meanwhile a redditor sent an email alerting the channel as well as archiving all of UD’s vids just DAYS ago. Wtf, they really don’t care unless they get good PR huh?” another Redditor wrote.

One Redditor previously archived the content of Usapang Diskarte and alerted the National Bureau of Investigation about it via email.

The user posted a screenshot of the archived content and NBI’s reply to the alert.

Meanwhile, regarding the PNP-ACG, one Reddit user said that the unit might have taken a long time because it has other complaints to deal with.

“To be fair to them e madami din sila kaso na hinahawakan..Like hindi lang ito ang complaint na nasa kanila,” the Reddit user said.

The online bayanihan to report the pages of an individual posting content about child grooming soon reached opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

Hontiveros immediately called on YouTube, Facebook and the PNP-ACG to look into this case.

“@facebook, @YouTube, @PNPpio Anti-cybercrime group, please have a look. The people behind these accounts should be brought to justice,” the lawmaker said.

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