Tag Archives: Manila

Locked Up, Starved, Abused: Street Children Caged Like Dogs in Preparation for Pope’s Visit

There are 17 detention centers across the city, where an estimated 20,000 children a year are detained and sometimes kept for months, according to Daily Mail.

There are 17 detention centers across the city, where an estimated 20,000 children a year are detained and sometimes kept for months, according to Daily Mail.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – “Street children as young as five are being caged in brutal detention centers alongside adult criminals in a cynical drive to smarten up the Philippines capital,” explained Daily Mail.

Disregarding their own Filipino child protection laws, the locked-up children are placed in filthy detention centers, where they sleep on the cold concrete floors, use buckets as toilets, get physically abused by older inmates, are nearly starved and in some cases, chained up to the pillars.

Adult inmates are kept in a pen directly next to the cell holding boys and girls; they freely pass back and forth through the compounds during certain times of the day and abuse the children.

The center is hidden away in the slums of Manila’s Paranaque district, and ironically named “House of Hope.”

Pope’s Visit to Philippines

“This is completely beneath human dignity and the rights of all the children here are being violated,” expressed Noble Peace Prize-nominated Irish missionary Father Shay Cullen, to MailOnline. “They have no basic rights. There is no education. There is no entertainment. There is no proper human development. There is nowhere to eat and they sleep on a concrete floor. There is no proper judicial process.

“These kids are totally without protection. They have no legal representation. They are just put in jail and left to fend for themselves,” he continued.

According to Father Shay, there was never any chance of the Pope seeing the horrendous detention centers in Manila while touring the capital. “They are a shame on the nation. Officials here would be horrified at the prospect of the Pope seeing children treated in this way.”

Adult inmates in Philippines lock up centers

Locked up children are often abused by the older inmates in the same compound center.

This is not the first time children have been captured for hiding in the Philippines; Catherine Scerri, deputy director of street children charity Bahay Tuluyan, explained to MailOnline that this terrible act commonly happens right before a big public figure arrives in the capital.

“More children have been picked up in recent weeks and there has been a pattern of this happening before big international events in the past,” Scerri stated. “It happened before President Obama’s visit to the Philippines in April last year. When we tried to have them released we were told they couldn’t come out until after Obama had gone and the children were very much given the impression that they were rescued because of this visit.”

girl chained to pole in Philippines detention center

13-year-old, Angel, was chained to a post in the RAC detention center and left there crying.

Officials claim the round-up was strictly to protect the Pope from beggars taking advantage of him.

Despite previous anger in the Philippines last year over a an 11-year-old child starved into a skeletal figure at another detention center, the Manila Reception and Action Centre (RAC), the practice of capturing non-criminal children and placing them in deplorable living conditions continues.

Locked up Filipino children

Filipino children are ‘rescued’ from the streets and put in lock-up centers where they are severely neglected for months.

“There is no reason the shelters (centers) should be like this and what I find soul-destroying is the apathy of the people who work in and around places like RAC and allow this brutality,” said Scerri. “I can understand a lack of resources, but what I find so frustrating is the violence, torture and apathy and the fact that people are standing by and letting this happen. I think that is completely inexcusable.”

Skeletal kid in Philippines detention center

Notorious detention center, Manila Reception and Action Centre (RAC) received anger and protests from citizens after a skeletal 11-year-old was pictured lying on the ground, apparently near death. However, no effective changes were made to the detention centers.






Authorities Break up International Pedophile Ring That Streamed Live Child Abuse

Global operation sees 29 arrested across 14 countries


Police in the UK, US, and Australia have dismantled an international ring of pedophiles accused of streaming live video of child abuse from the Philippines.

LONDON – Child abuse investigators in the United States, Britain and Australia have dismantled an organized crime group that live-streamed child sexual abuse to order from the Philippines.

Britain’s National Crime Agency said an international investigation broke up the ring, resulting in 29 arrests people in 12 countries who had paid to watch the abuse.

Police describe the use of webcams to stream live child abuse — especially from developing countries — as a “significant and emerging threat.”

“This investigation has identified some extremely dangerous child sexual offenders who believed paying for children to be abused to order was something they could get away with,” said Andy Baker, the deputy director of the agency’s command for child protection. “Being thousands of miles away makes no difference to their guilt. In my mind they are just as responsible for the abuse of these children as the contact abusers overseas.”

The investigation began after a routine visit to Timothy Ford, a registered sex offender in Britain. Police found a number of indecent videos on his computer and contacted child abuse investigators, touching off a global investigation beginning in 2012.

UK authorities worked with the Australian Federal Police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers as well as the International Justice Mission, a non-governmental group. Together the agencies presented their data to authorities in the Philippines to identify offenders and victims.

The investigation — codenamed Operation Endeavour — identified 733 suspects and has resulted in some convictions, including Ford, who was sentenced in March to 8 ½ years in prison. The agency said Ford paid to watch the live abuse and had planned to move to the Philippines to set up an internet cafe.
Ford and another man, Thomas Owen, had discussed traveling to the Philippines together. Ford, who uses a wheelchair, “suggested that Owen could act as his carer so they could travel to the Philippines together in an attempt to avoid detection,” police said.

Owen, who was found with nearly 4 million indecent images of children, was sentenced in July to seven years in prison.

Authorities in the Philippines issued three search warrants in 2012, and 15 children aged between 6 and 15 were rescued and placed in the custody of social welfare services.

Stephanie McCourt, of the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center, which is now part of the NCA, told the BBC that pedophiles should know that the Internet is not a “safe place for them.”

“They must also not be under the mistaken impression that this is a crime which carries no guilt because it happens on the other side of the world,” she said. “It is just as bad, just as harmful as though it was happening to the children right here in the U.K.”

The arrests underscored the well-established problem of cybercrime rings victimizing children in impoverished communities.

Community support to eradicate the problem is crucial because the crime often is concealed in the privacy of homes away from the attention of authorities, said Mayor Michael Rama of Cebu city in the central Philippines, a region where some of the abuses have been reported.

“When you have some poverty, the availability of information and technology and the attraction for easy money, these abuses happen,” Rama told The Associated Press by telephone. “City hall can fight this but if the villages don’t get involved, what’s going to happen?”

Philippine police Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa, who heads an anti-cybercrime unit, said incidents of abuse have been monitored in Cebu, Manila and Angeles city north of the capital.

Impoverished parents allow their children to be sexually abused and watched by paying foreigners via the internet in exchange for $100 to $200, Sosa said.

“We’re continuing with our operations,” Sosa said. “We’ve not eradicated this.”


Filipino ‘comfort woman’ still fighting for apology

Fidencia David, 86, wants the Japanese government to apologize for allowing soldiers to use her as a “comfort woman” during the Second World War.

Lola Fidencia David was forced to be a sex slave for Japanese soldiers who invaded the Phillipines during the Second World Ward. Now 86, she is still campaigning for an apology from Japan.

Lola Fidencia David was forced to be a sex slave for Japanese soldiers who invaded the Phillipines during the Second World Ward. Now 86, she is still campaigning for an apology from Japan.


Fidencia David was 14 when she watched Japanese bombs drop in her Philippine village in 1942 during the Second World War. Soldiers burned down David’s house and used her as a sex slave for 10 days.

She escaped and for years lived in shame and silence. But she has since found her voice. In the ’90s, David became an activist, part of a vocal group of survivors who demanded an official apology and compensation from Japan

Now 86, David was one of more than 200,000 “comfort women” from across Asia. Therapist and author Cristina Rosello translated her answers into English during an interview with the Toronto Star. The text below is paraphrased.

What was it like in the Japanese garrison where you were held?

 David cleaned and prepared food in the Japanese garrison where she was held in the Pangasinan region, which is about five hours north of Manila. On her first night, a soldier gagged her and pushed her head into a wall. She was raped by five to 10 soldiers a night. On a trip back to her village to get supplies, David’s grandmother was raped in front of her and shot dead by soldiers.

How did you go on after escaping?

David married at the age of 20 and had eight children, but it wasn’t a successful union. Her husband squandered the family’s money and David had to scavenge from garbage bins before selling vinegar and charcoal to make money to feed her kids. Rosella says David’s children, who weren’t aware of their mother’s history, were troubled when she became uncommunicative when she was consumed by flashbacks.

What made you break your silence?

David was finally emboldened to tell her tale to her eight children — and the world — after a Korean comfort women finally spoke out in 1990. David was also encouraged by Rosa Henson, the first Filipino woman to come out. David joined a group of survivors, gained strength, support and political will and became part of the Lolas Kampanyera Survivors Organization. After hearing testimony from David and other survivors in 2007, the House of Commons in Ottawa passed a motion to recognize the horrific treatment of the women and to encourage the Japanese government to apologize.

What is most important to you now as a survivor?

A state apology and state compensation. David says many of her colleagues have passed away with no justice after fighting for 22 years. The Japanese government has not acknowledged the atrocities. The Philippine government has also denied support to comfort women survivors because the country receives aid from Japan, says Rosella. “It’s unfinished business,” Rosella says, translating for David. “She will fight up until her deathbed.”

What can people do now?

David is in Canada as part of an educational campaign organized by Winnipeg’sMuseum of Human Rights and Toronto ALPHA, which promotes wartime historical events in Asia.

David spoke to students at two Toronto schools Monday. She’s asking the younger generation to support her as well as join the 100 Million Signatures Campaign to demand the Japanese government apologize. There are now only 26 comfort women still alive in the Philippines.

Fidencia David will be part of a panel discussion Tuesday at U of T from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the William Doo Auditorium and later at a community meeting at the Barbara Frum Library, 20 Covington Rd., from 6:30 to 8 p.m.