EDITORIAL | Porn

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

THE gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in Ajuy, Iloilo two weeks ago was being blamed on pornography. The four suspects reportedly watched smut films before the attack.

Pornography is one of the most pressing yet frequently ignored issues in the country. In fact, according to the National Bureau of Investigation, the Philippines is one of the leading producers of pornographic materials. It constitutes a billion-dollar industry operated both by local and foreign entities; an industry where people take advantage of impoverish Filipinos for big profits.

A problem pointed out by the United Nations is the lack of understanding of the Filipino people, civilian and law enforcers alike, on the nature of pornography – and specifically, child pornography. People caught engaged in pornography are often released as law enforcers have no clear basis as to what should be done. More commonly, child pornography is perceived only as an element of graver offenses like sexual exploitation and prostitution.

We must recognize the large contribution of the world wide web or the internet in the promotion of pornography. According to statistics, 12 percent of the total number of websites showcases pornographic materials covering 420 million web pages. It accounts for 25 percent of search requests while downloading of these pornographic materials from the internet tallies to 35 percent of the total downloads per month. Also, 90 percent of children ages 8 -16 access these sites mostly during homework.

According to a UN commissioned study, a major factor contributing to the difficulty of curtailing child pornography is the uncontrolled information transfer through the internet. The easy access to technology allows the access of almost anyone on these materials. Likewise, we do not have a filter system regulating the flow of information.

Enshrined in our Constitution and in the treatises we signed is the duty of the State to protect and promote holistically the rights of a child. We must do everything in our capabilities to uphold at all times our commitment to the development and protection of the Filipino children.