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CICC, NACC, PNP to crackdown on online baby sellers

Online sale of babies
AGAINST ONLINE SALE OF BABIES. CICC Executive Director Alexander K. Ramos met on June 3 with NACC Executive Director Janella Ejercito Estrada and PCol Renato C. Mercado, chief of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division of the Women and Children Protection Center under the Philippine National Police.

The Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), the National Authority for Child Care (NACC) and the Women and Children Protection Center of the Philippine National Police are setting up a technical working group to crackdown on parents, brokers and those involved in the black market sale of babies online.

CICC Executive Director Alexander K. Ramos met with NACC Executive Director Janella Ejercito Estrada and PCol Renato C. Mercado, chief of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division of the PNP’s WCPC on June 3 at the National Cybercrime Hub in Bonfacio Global City to discuss the issue.

During the closed-door meeting, PCol. Mercado was alarmed about the rampant sale of babies online and identified four new FB groups that are still active in the trade. CICC social media experts also identified two additional new FB pages involved in the sale of babies.

Babies are sold for as low as P30,000 and could reach as high as P2 million, according to the PNP. In many instances, mothers are involved in the illegal sale of their babies, according to police. Brokers were also involved in some cases handled by the PNP.

“Mothers would say that they were giving up their babies because they cannot afford to support them,” PCol. Mercado said. “Poverty is indeed the driving force behind the online sale of babies,” he explained.

Ramos was dismayed with the use of social media in the illegal sale of babies.

“This problem on the illegal adoption of babies is not really new but it has been going on for years. But the black market trade is now getting more sophisticated with the use of social media,” he said.

NACC officials have observed that some of those involved in the illegal adoption of babies have started to shift to FB pages that focus on surrogacy – a process in which a woman carries and delivers a child for a couple or individual.

Estrada appealed to the public to deal directly with NACC for the adoption of babies. NACC is a quasi-judicial agency attached to the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) which has the exclusive jurisdiction on child adoption and alternative child care.

Ramos, for his part, appealed to the public to report to Inter-Agency Response Center (IARC) hotline 1326 if they encounter social media accounts that are involved in the online sale of babies.

Issued by the Office of CICC Executive Director Alexander K. Ramos

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