MANILA (UPDATE) – The Department of Justice on Monday ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate reports that some students have been selling their sexy photos and videos online to support their needs for distance learning.
In a department order, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra asked NBI officer-in-charge Eric Distor to look into the alleged online sexual exploitation of children, “particularly the reported sale and offering for sale of sensual photographs, videos, or pornography of students.”
Guevarra gave Distor 10 days to submit reports on the progress of the investigation.
The order comes a day after Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian called on law enforcement agencies to look into the alleged sale of students’ pornographic material.
Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate basic education committee, cited a report by news portal Philippine Online Student Tambayan which revealed that students held an online “Christmas sale” of their “sensual” photos and videos so they could buy gadgets and pay internet bills in support of their distance learning.
According to the report, some students even sold their obscene photos for as low as P150.
The Department of Education said it was “deeply alarmed” with the rising incidents of online sexual abuse and exploitation of children during the pandemic, adding that it would “fully cooperate” with government agencies to prevent pornography among learners.
“These rising cases of child exploitation and abuse call for better collaboration and cooperation among national agencies and local communities, especially in these difficult times,” the agency said in a statement.
– With a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News