Online ‘mama-san’ falls

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Wanted for years for allegedly trafficking children in online sex shows, Ma. Lorena Regalona finally fell in Taguig after her location was pinpointed by a police confidential informant.

Regalona is facing charges of qualified trafficking in persons and child abuse for maintaining a group of children who performed lewd acts in front of Internet web cams.

Female maintainers of sex dens, including online sex shows, are referred to as mama-san, a Japanese word for women who manage bars and geisha houses.

The suspect’s clientele were mostly foreign pedophiles who paid online for access to the sex acts of minors, according to the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

Qualified trafficking in persons can draw a sentence of life imprisonment and a fine of P5 million.

The US State Department’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report cited Philippine government efforts to minimize, if not eradicate, human trafficking in the country.

It said the government demonstrated “serious and sustained efforts” by convicting and punishing more traffickers through close interaction with victims.

US report credits gov’t efforts versus sex trafficking.

The Philippines has also implemented procedures to reduce the backlog of trafficking cases in the courts, it said.

The report proposed increasing the availability of specialized shelter and mental health services for victims of trafficking, “including child victims of online sexual exploitation and male victims.”

“Increase efforts to investigate, prosecute and convict perpetrators of trafficking, particularly complicit officials and labor traffickers,” the report suggested.

It also sought to increase the resources for anti-trafficking task forces to “support coordinated operations, protection services and timely preliminary investigation and prosecution of trafficking, including in cases involving online sexual exploitation of children.”

The US State Department called for the development of programs aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex acts, including child sex tourism and online child sexual exploitation.

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