Senator Loren Legarda underscored the need to have a law that would specifically address child cyber pornography. She then pushed for the immediate passage of the proposed Anti-Computer Pornography Act under Senate Bill No. 532.
“Advancements in the Internet and other technological media allowing communication to cross geographic and national borders in a matter of seconds, everything has now become reachable with the click of a button. Most of these technological advancements have been utilized by unscrupulous individuals for illegal activities,” she said.
“Through the proposed Anti-Computer Pornography Act, we aim to protect minors from indecent and immoral material transmitted through electronic mail and other electronic media. We need to immediately enact this measure to complement the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and safeguard the welfare of our citizens, particularly women and children,” the senator added.
MANILA, Philippines—There were 358 new cases of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which could lead to the fatal acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), reported in December 2013, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
The figure was 22 percent higher compared to the same period in 2012, which had 293 cases.
HIV-AIDS leads to a condition characterized by the weakening or breakdown of the body’s immune system.
The new cases bring to 4,814 the number of cases since January 2013 and to 16,516 since 1984.
Thirty-one of the December cases, according to the registry, were full-blown AIDS cases.
The bulk of the new HIV cases were in the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Central Luzon and Davao.
“The three highest reporting regions were the NCR, Calabarzon and Central Visayas,” according to the registry.
Ninety-five percent of the cases were males, the report said, adding that the 20-29 age group had the most number of cases.
Of the 358 new cases, 318 were contracted through unprotected sex, with men having sex with other men as the predominant type of sexual transmission.
Take your pick between the frightening realization or sickening anger over the fact that each pin is a reported location of a cyber sex den. Not just any sex den, but a child cyber pornography den. So rampant is the cyber abuse of minors in our country that we have become a bright red flag in the international community for being part of the top 10 countries producing cyber child pornography.
These “productions” are ordered online mostly by foreigners as Filipinos are not big fans of child porn but participating and enabling the creation of these videos and photos is just as evil.
In a country that prides itself on its world renowned bayanihan spirit, how can this be happening to us? Time and again, we have proven that we are there for our neighbors when needed, as our age-old customs and traditions have taught us to be, but what does our silence about our neighbor’s activities say about us?
Reports in newspapers tell of a raid on a children’s sex den operating next to a daycare nursery in a town where everyone knows each other and the activities of certain residents have become open secrets. Yet, whether it was money, fear or the custom of not interfering with the activities of others, nobody reported what was happening until the PNP discovered it and put a stop to it.
It is happening all over the country but Angeles City, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Manila have been found to be the most prolific producers in this revolting multi-billion dollar global industry that has made even parents themselves, turn from their children’s protector to their peddler. Live video streams can fetch up to P4,500 ($100) while photographs are worth anywhere from P1,000-P3,000 ($22-$66).
The common mindset seems to be, “Where’s the harm?” After all, it’s just a video or photograph, and some of the children don’t even realize they are being abused, unlike “real-life prostitutes.”
The cultural highlight of the Grammys would certainly be Queen Latifah overseeing a mass marriage ceremony.
It was not solely a gay marriage ceremony, but the ceremony was during the gay marriage anthem “Same Love,” so the intent and focus was clear. There were outward differences among the couples on the floor — different races, different gender combinations, etc. — but the central message of the moment was that the “sameness” is in the love — hence the song “Same Love.”
Now, the Grammy Awards presentation is not the show you watch for highbrow cultural commentary or family-friendly entertainment. News reports indicate that many parents were shocked by Beyoncé (among others). I honestly have to wonder if these parents have heard of Beyoncé before now, and why were they expecting the Grammys to be family-friendly? (J. Lo’s dress from 2000 is easy to recall from the dark recess of our memories.)
So, the Grammys are not representative of our culture, but in some ways they are indicative of its shifts. And, the Grammy moment is a good moment to remind ourselves of a few things.
First, culture has changed and is changing.
Views that were sidelined ten years ago (remember, Presidents Clinton and Obama were once opposed to gay marriage) are not just accepted, they are celebrated. And those who hold to a biblical standard of marriage are “paraphrasing a 3500 year old book” (a phrase taken from “Same Love,” which many would say was the key song of the night).
Yet, it was not just a shift in views about gay marriage. We continued to see the objectification of women, communicating that talent mattered less than appearance. (And, Pepsi, thanks for making it clear how you value women in the commercials.) The coarsening of language and more were all on display.
Times are a-changing.
Second, Christians will be increasingly uncomfortable in this world and will struggle to express that with grace.
As Natalie Grant (a twice Grammy-nominated performer at the show) tweeted, “We left the Grammys early. I’ve many thoughts, most of which are probably better left inside my head.” I understand and appreciate her and her comment. Yet, we will not always have the same option. Furthermore, it’s a frightening place to be if people of faith cannot live and speak about what their faith teaches and values.
The fact is the Grammys don’t mirror the values of America. They are an ostentatious display that reflects (and impacts) the culture in a distorted way — yet perhaps increasingly in a way that people of faith do not.
As we find ourselves in a new world, we must remember to speak love and truth, always using words filled with God’s grace.