PNP, intercepts suspects involved in sale of 8-day old baby

PNP, intercepts suspects involved in sale of 8-day old baby

THE sale of babies at low prices on various online platforms is rampant on social media.

According to the National Authority for Child Care (NACC), based on their monitoring, this is particularly prevalent on the online platform Facebook.

Evidence of this is the actual video of the arrest of two individuals identified as Arjay Malabanan, a 37-year-old resident of Bacoor, Cavite.

Also involved is Maria Chariza Rivera Dizon, a 29-year-old resident of Tondo, Manila, and the mother who sold her own eight-day-old baby.

Police Colonel Renato Mercado, Chief of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (PNP-ATIPD), stated that the suspects were apprehended on May 15 at a church in Dasmariñas, in coordination with the Philippine National Police Women and Children Protection Center.

“What we did is we conducted undercover operations. We engaged with someone selling a baby, convincing the mother and the agent to sell the baby to us. She traveled from Tondo, Manila to Dasmariñas City to meet the broker, where we intercepted the two suspects,” according to PCol. Renato Mercado, Chief, ATIPD-WCPC, PNP

The baby was being sold for PHP 90,000, with PHP 50,000 going to the mother and PHP 40,000 to the broker or agent.

The suspects were immediately taken to the custodial facility of the Women and Protection Center at Camp Crame, facing multiple charges, including violations of RA 9208, the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act.

Currently, the PNP does not see any syndicate behind the rampant online sale of babies.

However, the DSWD considers it unacceptable to sell and treat a child as a commodity.

“It is worrisome, because it is rampant. This is a cruel form of child exploitation and human trafficking,” stated Sec. Rex Gatchalian, DSWD.

“Children should not be treated like commodities,” he added.

“We will not tolerate such acts of cruelty. We will use the fullest extent of the law to apprehend and prosecute those caught,” he stressed.

The rescued baby is now under the care of a child care facility in partnership with the DSWD.

According to the DSWD Chief, they have long been coordinating with Facebook management regarding this issue but failed to take action against Facebook pages selling babies.

“We will continue engaging Facebook so that they can regulate the utilization of their platform,” Gatchalian added.

“Social media is a good tool, but it can also be a very cruel tool,” he expressed.

PH gov’t: Poverty, illegal drug use primary reasons for rampant sale of babies

Currently, the NACC is monitoring 20 to 40 Facebook pages involved in the illegal sale or adoption of children.

NACC Executive Director Usec. Janella Estrada explained that the primary reasons for the rampant sale of babies are poverty and the use of illegal drugs.

“Our priority is to stop the spread of social media sites selling children under the guise of adoption,” Usec. Janella Estrada, Executive Director, NACC stated.


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