During the arraignment at the Lapu-Lapu City-based Cebu Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 27 presided by Judge Toribio Quiwag on Wednesday morning, the couple entered not guilty plea to child abuse, three counts of child pornography and qualified human trafficking charges lodged against them.
The husband and the wife, who is pregnant, were arrested after the National Bureau of Investigation’s (NBI) raid that caught them presenting three of their own children -- three sons and three daughters, aged three to 15 -- and their 16-year-old niece naked in front of a computer-mounted camera.
"The spouses were arrested while they were caught in the act of exploiting their minor children by making them engage in explicit sexual activities and obscene acts before the webcam of their home computer and transmitting the captured images of the children to their clients abroad for a fee via the Internet," said NBI-Central Visayas Director Edward Villarta said.
Sun.Star is withholding the names of the couple in compliance with Republic Act 9208, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, and to protect the identities of their children.
The raid was authorized by a warrant issued by RTC Judge Meinrado Paredes.
The pregnant woman, interviewed at the NBI stockade, admitted being engaged in online pornography but denied involving her children in any of her transactions.
"We even send all of them to school," she said.
The two are now held without bail at the Lapu-Lapu City Jail.