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‘Nanay, ‘Wag Po!’ Mother Sells Child for Online Sex

Cynthia was used to doing cyber porn since 2017. So she knew that “online live show” involves going nude and doing explicit sexual acts in front of foreigners on the internet.
by Malou Talosig-Bartolome

Recently updated on November 5, 2022 02:55 pm

Editor’s Note: The following story contains details which may offend sensibilities. This is an attempt to show how mothers of abused children think and how governments and societies can intervene from this very serious social ill. This is not to glorify or justify their actions. Any action that abuses children is despicable. Period. Children should be advised against reading this.”

WHEN her husband got laid off from construction work last May 2020, Cynthia (not real name), a 24-year old mother, started selling barbecue pork in a busy slum neighborhood in Taguig.

But income was “not enough” to feed her three  children – a 10-year old girl, a five-year old boy and a six-month old baby girl.

Kinausap ako ng kumare ko. Kung gusto ko raw ulit mag-online live show,” Cynthia said. 

Cynthia was used to doing cyber porn since 2017. So she knew that “online live show” involves going nude and doing explicit sexual acts in front of foreigners on the internet. She stopped doing it in 2019 when she got pregnant with her third child. She already knows the tricks of the trade – all she needs is a good smartphone and a decent internet connection.

Nung unang buwan, ok, kumikita. Pero napapansin ko parang nagsawa na mga customer. Tapos minsan, may isang Amerikano narinig anak ko naglalaro sa background.  Sabi nya, ‘Your children?’ Sabi ko, ‘yes.’ Sabi ng Amerikano, kung pwede ko rin daw kuhaan sila ng litrato,” she recalled.

Law enforcement agents from the  National Bureau of Investigation Anti-Human Trafficking Division arrested Cynthia last month in a sting operation that was meticulously planned together with the United States Homeland Security. Thousands of miles away in the US, law enforcement units also arrested an American pedophile caught in the act of watching the live show of Cynthia’s children.

Who is Cynthia? 

Cynthia is one of the hundreds of mothers arrested by the NBI and the Philippine  National Police for pimping their children online. 

According to Virginia-based non-government organization International Justice Mission (IJM),  the majority of cases of online sexually abused children in the Philippines, around 87 percent, involved at least one female trafficker. And shockingly, the female trafficker usually is the child’s own mother or their female relative.

The IJM found this “quite unique” compared to other cases of sexual abuse or exploitation of children that they also studied worldwide.

“Cases of child sexual assault commonly involve perpetrators who are family members, but they are typically males,” the IJM said in its 2020 report. 

As in other cases of Philippine commercial exploitation of children in brothels or other prostitution dens, the perpetrators are women or the “madams” but rarely are family members.

“No-touch” morality

Science has proven that mothers’ instincts naturally tend to protect their children. But what drives Cynthia and other Filipino mothers to exploit their children online abuse?

According to IJM, their “theory” is that most of the mother pimps are “financially and not sexually motivated to commit the crime.”

“Maghubad lang sa harap ng camera. Wala namang masama dun. Di naman sila mahahawakan,” Cynthia told the investigators.

Investigators used a special gadget and were able to trace deleted messages from Cynthia’s tablet and smartphone which they confiscated during the raid. What they found out shocked them more. 

During one of the livestreams, a pedophile had asked her children to go to the bathroom, take a shower and fondle themselves. The pedophile paid her US$100 (PH 5,000), a bit higher from the usual rate of US$50 (P2,500). 


Then, in another conversation, Cynthia texted another customer,  “Do you want her virginity?” – referring to her 10-year old daughter.

Investigators refused to divulge if indeed the act was consummated, but it goes to show how far Cynthia is pushing her children to the limit. 

Kapag naka-live show at di ka sumunod sa utos ng foreigner, the deal is off. Biglang papatayin nila ang camera,” the investigator who spoke of anonymity. “Kaya yung sinasabi nilang nama-manage naman nila ang mga bata dahil photos lang, hindi na applicable yun sa live shows.”

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