Facebook and other social networking tools are being used by sex assailants in the Philippines to lure their victims, contributing to a rise in such crimes.
Police are investigating cases in which suspects used Facebook or text messages sent from mobile phones to lure people, especially minors, into sex, said national police spokesman Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz.
“They have networking, they have ‘clans’, they invite youths to join. Then they initiate them and included in this are sexual activities,” Cruz told AFP.
He said police had arrested several people for such alleged crimes but had not yet compiled figures on how many were lured using Internet tools or mobile phone.
“We are investigating this because our laws are not yet clear on this. We just treat it as rape.” He warned that many more rapes may go unreported because victims may not always go to the police. About 30 percent of the Philippines’ population has Internet access, mostly through Internet cafes, while nearly one in two Filipinos has a mobile phone, industry studies show.
The studies also show Filipinos are among the most active users of social networking sites in Asia.
The Philippines has also become known as the world’s leader in text messaging, with Filipinos sending an average of 200 million text messages a month via mobile phone, industry reports said.
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