CEBU, Philippines - Philippine and U.S. law enforcement officials rescued 6 children in Cordova, Cebu from the hands of their own parents who ordered the youths to strip and perform sex acts in front of a web camera.
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents and U.S. Homeland Security officers raided the victims' home and rescued the children aged 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 years old.
Authorities said the parents were getting US$25 from each viewer.
They also confiscated computer units and sex toys.
Lawyer Edward Villarta, regional director of NBI-Cebu, said the children were made to perform lewd acts in front of a webcam from 5:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. daily.
"Gigisingin sila request ng show, doon gagamitin, pagsasayawin ng nude in front of the webcam," he added.
Villarta said the victims' parents tell their children the sex poses they should do in front of the camera. "Sila ang nag-di-direct ng mga poses, kung ano ang gagawin."
He said he could not believe that the victims' own parents were behind the act.
The children are now under the custody of the Provincial Women's Commission, which earlier reported the case to the authorities.
They underwent physical and psychological check-ups, and were getting debriefed by social workers to help them recover from the abuse.
Experts said it will take a long time for the children to recover, as the victims were not aware they were being abused.
The couple admitted engaging in the cybersex business for 3 years now, authorities said. The parents said they started the business after they lost their jobs.
The victim's mother, who is 6 months pregnant, asked for forgiveness and said they will stop engaging in the cybersex trade.
The parents are now detained at the Cebu City jail. They have been charged with human trafficking, child abuse and pornography. - Reports from Carine Asutilla, ABS-CBN Central Visayas; and Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News; ANC