You May be a Child Abuser!

WowPhilippines Gift Delivery in the Philippines

Yes you!  There is a law in the Philippines that states, in short, anyone that is in the company of a child under the age of 12, or a minor who is 10 years your junior then you can be arrested and imprisoned.  There are two exceptions, if your interaction with children is required because of legal, moral or cultural reasons then you are exempted from the law.  The second exemption is if you’re related to the child by blood or marriage to the 4th degree.

In The Company of Children!

jail

The law in question is Republic Act 7610.  It sets up various conditions which qualify as child abuse.  While it is aimed at sexual abuse that is not the only type of abuse it attempts to protect children from.  The entire act includes protection in extreme poverty or conditions created by war.  The part of the law that I find alarming is quoted below:

Any person who shall keep or have in his company a minor, twelve (12) years or under or who in ten (10) years or more his junior in any public or private place, hotel, motel, beer joint, discotheque, cabaret, pension house, sauna or massage parlor, beach and/or other tourist resort or similar places shall suffer the penalty of prison mayor in its maximum period and a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00): Provided, That this provision shall not apply to any person who is related within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity or any bond recognized by law, local custom and tradition or acts in the performance of a social, moral or legal duty.

Any public or private place.  While the law lists several locations, those are just examples.  The law includes any place be it public or be it private.

Flowers from WowPhilippines

So, suppose you hire a yaya to help take care of your children, she would be in the company of your child.  Does the law apply to her?  I think it certainly could.  Let’s say you move in with a Filipina and she has children, are  you in violation of this law.  Probably yes.  Is her annulment complete?  That’s a scary can of worms.

The Philippines legal system seems to still be rooted in common sense though and that’s what will likely keep this law from being abused in most cases.  At this time, there appears to have been two arrests under this law.  Both have occurred in the last 30 days and both occurred on Bantayan Island in Northern Cebu. (editor’s note, there is also a case of a foreigner – a UN Doctor – who has been charged under this law in Makati)

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is responsible for seeing that this law is enforced and the child are protected.  In one of the cases mentioned above, two of the children he had been in the company of have since claimed Eric Rohn had touched them inappropriately.  So I suspect which law they prosecute him under will change.  He has missionary status so he might have met one of the exclusions.  If these two girls, age 11 and 15 stick to their latest story, I’d say his days as a free man are over as he is 69 years old.  The other individual is Preston Kuntz.  So far, the 12 year old girl he was found alone with at a resort on Bantayan Island has stated that Kuntz has done nothing inappropriate.  The girl’s parents have been charged with a different crime, a more harsh crime than Kuntz but they continue to say he was just a friend of the family.

It appears the DSWD is using the law mostly in an attempt to gain more evidence and to get the children out of immediate danger when there is not enough evidence to charge them with more specific acts.  I think the lawyer’s statement sheds some insight into how the department views this law:

Lawyer Irene Cabales of the Children’s Legal Bureau said they would want to test Republic Act 7610 that prohibits anyone, especially foreigners, from having minors under their custody.

I doubt that they would arrest a yaya without some other indications that there was a problem going on.  I think you can reduce your potential risk by not being with children unless their parent or other relative is there but the law doesn’t actually say that.  Again, I’m relying on my observations that the Philippine legal system still exercises common sense in most cases.  I doubt a lawyer would tell someone to rely on that though.

It doesn’t matter if the parents of the child want the accused to be punished.  The State has an obligation to protect the children from the accused and their parents or anyone else that is not taking adequate care and protection of them.

One of the safe guards built into the law is that it limits who can actually bring charges under such an act.  In the Philippines, many laws allow for any interest party to bring charges against someone else.  For example, an individual brought charges of bigamy against politicians in Cebu even though he was not married to them.  He was a political rival.  On a side note, that man is now dead.  Shot in his front yard while talking to his son and wife.

It is important to know, that you don’t have to be alone with the child.  If you’re actually found to be alone with the child, then the penalty goes and up and its considered attempted child prostitution with possible life sentence!

I find this law to be alarming.  While only certain entities can actually charge one with violating this law, that will not prevent extortionist, competitors, estranged spouses or others from going to  authorities and accusing someone of being in the company of children!  In the two cases I know about, much more was suspected but it doesn’t actually have to be.  Being an American, I’m accustomed to laws being used to the letter of the law, even twisted to create new law and common sense seemingly often tossed out the window.  That makes this seem like a law ripe for potential abuse.  You should keep this law in mind as you go through your daily life in the Philippines.

Let me hear your thoughts.  Am I over reacting?  Am I under reacting?

Post Author: Rusty Ferguson (42 Posts)

Rusty Ferguson is an American Expat living in Bogo, Cebu.


Comments

  1. rc says

    “who in ten (10) years or more his junior”

    Interesting…older/younger relationships seem to apply, no matter what the actual age is (i.e., a 60 year old foreign man with a 40 year old woman). Am I reading that right?

  2. says

    Rusty
    This looks like one of the many poorly written laws that get abused. You are seeing more and more of these laws that many people do not even know exist. Then you have a vindictive politician or a greedy official that will use laws like this for extortion. While we have laws like this in all countries including the US still the quantity and the abuse of these laws does make me think twice about moving to the Philippines.

  3. Ed Griffin says

    Good info Rusty! For a foreigner that has corresponded with a filipina and later chooses to be with someone else a child could be used to get back at the foreigner; called it a “woman scorned.”

    As a foreigner, we need to know the laws there. I wasn’t fully aware of this one. I do know that to wear even a T-shirt with a marijuana picture or stenciling can cause one to go to jail for a long time.

  4. Ed Griffin says

    This could also apply to anyone that has fallen in love with you and they feel rejected by your pursuing the many available females.

    I welcome any input about the laws that I will need to know about.

  5. says

    This law is a concern for expats because of it’s wording and how it might be interperted in individual cases . Unfortunately there seem to be more cases coming out of the wood work these days involving ” extortion ” of expats in one form or another .

    A recent visit by expats from Manila and Cebu to here in Cagayan De Oro disclosed recent scams going on in those cities involving foreigners being ” set up ” for extortion in a variety of ways .

    That within itself is not new based on my experience but what may be new is other foreigners being a part of the ” sting operation ” . Maybe it’s a sign of a bad economy but for sure it doesn’t help paint a picture of a ” paradise ” waiting for foreigners considering a move or for that matter for those allready here .

  6. Ed Griffin says

    Sorry Rusty, I have no reference to the law about wearing a T-shirt with weed printed on it. We were advised of the do’s and don’t’s by the military back in the mid-80′s there. This was high on the list. I do believe that I saw it in print around that time maybe in the local newspaper.

    I have no desire to wear such a shirt, however, I’m sure ignorance of the law does not exempt an expat from a Philippine jail.

  7. Jonaky says

    I think the slant that Dave(Starr) puts on it in his comment here will probably be the scariest for many people. The possibility of being jailed for simply returning un-looked for innocent chat in a busy place? So ordinary politeness is dangerous? and have the Philippines decided to scare visitors away now? If there are many cases of people being set up in that way, respectable tourism is going to suffer. Ironically it probably won’t deter the real bad-apples though.

  8. roy says

    Hi Rusty, you are over reacting. Quite frankly, the Phil as compared to US has weak child abuse laws. If you are an american and you know what you cannot do, you should be ok.

  9. roy says

    I was reading the comments of Dave Starr when I realized the urgency to read the particular law in question here which in the words of Larry is “poorly written” and “terrible law” according to dave Starr.

    I should be contented w/ Rusty’s copy pasting of the law in question but then I was surprised by the alarming reaction of those two gentleman. They are not clearly pedophiles but they are afraid bec of the potential abuse of the law.

    Just like Rusty, I will not go into the entire law myself but I will at least try to convince Larry & Dave that the said law is not “poorly written”, “terrible law.”

    R.A. 7610 is an “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR STRONGER DETERRENCE AND SPECIAL PROTECTION AGAINST CHILD ABUSE, EXPLOITATION AND DISCRIMINATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”

    This law has 13 provisions with 36 sections.

    May I invite your attention to Article 3, sec. 6 of the law which I copy pasted here.

    http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra1992/ra_7610_1992.html

    ARTICLE III
    Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse

    Section 5. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. – Children, whether male or female, who for money, profit, or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult, syndicate or group, indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct, are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse.

    The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following:

    (a) Those who engage in or promote, facilitate or induce child prostitution which include, but are not limited to, the following:

    (1) Acting as a procurer of a child prostitute;

    (2) Inducing a person to be a client of a child prostitute by means of written or oral advertisements or other similar means;

    (3) Taking advantage of influence or relationship to procure a child as prostitute;

    (4) Threatening or using violence towards a child to engage him as a prostitute; or

    (5) Giving monetary consideration goods or other pecuniary benefit to a child with intent to engage such child in prostitution.

    (b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse of lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subject to other sexual abuse; Provided, That when the victims is under twelve (12) years of age, the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335, paragraph 3, for rape and Article 336 of Act No. 3815, as amended, the Revised Penal Code, for rape or lascivious conduct, as the case may be: Provided, That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period; and

    (c) Those who derive profit or advantage therefrom, whether as manager or owner of the establishment where the prostitution takes place, or of the sauna, disco, bar, resort, place of entertainment or establishment serving as a cover or which engages in prostitution in addition to the activity for which the license has been issued to said establishment.

    Section 6. Attempt To Commit Child Prostitution. – There is an attempt to commit child prostitution under Section 5, paragraph (a) hereof when any person who, not being a relative of a child, is found alone with the said child inside the room or cubicle of a house, an inn, hotel, motel, pension house, apartelle or other similar establishments, vessel, vehicle or any other hidden or secluded area under circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the child is about to be exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse.

    There is also an attempt to commit child prostitution, under paragraph (b) of Section 5 hereof when any person is receiving services from a child in a sauna parlor or bath, massage clinic, health club and other similar establishments. A penalty lower by two (2) degrees than that prescribed for the consummated felony under Section 5 hereof shall be imposed upon the principals of the attempt to commit the crime of child prostitution under this Act, or, in the proper case, under the Revised Penal Code.

    Rusty, I searched w/ difficulty the provision which you posted above but I could not find it under RA 7610.

    Quite frankly, the law is pretty straight forward to me.

    Rusty, I can’t find the phrase “Any public or private place”. But the law under Art. 3, sec. 6 enumerates the many places where child prostitution happens and where other sexual abuse on children may happen. It could happen in public places like motels, inns, massage parlors, apartelle, pension houses, etc or even inside the house as long as said child is left with an adult who is not a relative and REASONABLE person might conclude that a sexual abuse might have happened.

    & Dave, the laws applies to minors and not to married women who posed as single women. If you are sitting down in a restaurant like in your example & a minor comes to you, then a cop follows her & threatens you under that particular provision, I would tell you that these tandem are small time crooks. Only a clueless foreigner can fall for this amateurish modus operandi. Restaurants inside malls do not have the same character as that of inn, pension houses, etc. A totally suspicious person may think that you are pedophile if you are seen inside a mall restaurant alone with a child who is not your relative. But the law does not stop there; it further qualifies–a reasonable person should conclude that a sexual abuse happened or about to happen given the nature of the place, like inns, cubicles, hotels etc.

    Evil people can cook up ridiculous charges. It’s up to you if you will let them insult your intelligence by giving in to to them because “that’s how it is there”. Of course not. There are laws there that clearly define how felonies are committed. They only tend to confuse those who have decided to be confused with the law to begin with.

  10. roy says

    Hi Bob,

    I’m not sure what you meant by your first paragraph there.

    I cannot comment about what the prosecutor said because I have not read it. No, it’s not ok for a Filipino to abuse a child just as it’s not ok for anybody to abuse a child. I totally agree with you that the law should apply equally.

    If the US passes a law that makes an act illegal “for Filipinos” only,my reaction would be “what else is new”? :-) We’ve been persecuted so these is nothing for us. Bob, that stupid remark from that prosecutor may have been taken out of context. There is a provision in RA 7610 that concerns Child Trafficking. Maybe he’s referring to sec (a) of Art 4 as this concerns a child who travels abroad without his/her parents. More often that not, that provision involves a foreigner. That’s just a lame attempt to defend a stupid remark. My point is there must be a good reason why he said that & since I have not read the entire comment, I can only make a hazard guess. This does not diminish the fact that– that comment is stupid & irresposnible.

  11. roy says

    Ok Bob, I got your point in your first paragraph. Art 6 talks of “Other Acts of Abuse”. & I found sec (b) there. It says there that if you are found in those places w/ a child who is not related to you, then you could be charged w/ Other Acts of Abuse which may include neglect, abuse, cruelty, exploitation & other conditions prejudicial to child’s devt. A person who is related up to the 4th degree of civil consaguinity or affinity or under any bond recognized by law will not be charged under this law if seen in the company of the child as long as he acts ‘acts in the performance of a social, moral or legal duty.”

  12. Bacolod Barry says

    Hi Rusty
    While I agree with your concerns regarding the wording of this law, it must not be forgotten that this is to help protect the child.
    If somebody not within the fourth degree of consanguinity was with my children, I would certainly like to know what was happenning.
    Unfortunately in this age, child abuse is perceived as common in poorer countries as victims can easily be ‘brought off’.
    It must not be forgotten that children are sometimes ‘groomed’ or befriended before being abused, and this is one way it can start.

  13. roy says

    Section 6. Attempt To Commit Child Prostitution. – There is an attempt to commit child prostitution under Section 5, paragraph (a) hereof when any person who, not being a relative of a child, is found alone with the said child inside the room or cubicle of a house, an inn, hotel, motel, pension house, apartelle or other similar establishments, vessel, vehicle or any other hidden or secluded area under circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the child is about to be exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse.

    Hi Bob & Rusty,

    I’m amazed how fun statutory construction is. It brings out the lawyer in us. You pointed out that:

    “the law specifically defines what abuse is. It is “being in the company” of the child. If you are just standing on the street corner talking, you are in each other’s company, so it is logical to say that talking a child is, in the Philippines, abuse of that child, especially if you are a foreigner”.

    If you refer at the above provision which I have copy pasted again, it provides in part the FF:

    “…is found alone with the said child inside the room or cubicle of a house, an inn, hotel, motel, pension house, apartelle or other similar establishments, vessel, vehicle or any other hidden or secluded area under circumstances which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the child is about to be exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse”.

    For the life of me, I really do not understand how you could have arrived to the conclusion that you may be guilty of abuse. And what is interesting is nowhere in the wording that says that this law specifically targets foreigners. But you seem to have been sure that it targets you.

    R.A. 7610 is an “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR STRONGER DETERRENCE AND SPECIAL PROTECTION AGAINST CHILD ABUSE, EXPLOITATION AND DISCRIMINATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

    It does not say that this is “An Act Providing For Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection Against Child Abuse FROM FOREIGNERS,…..” It did not say that.

    There are twin requirements that would put you in trouble if you are not related to the child w/n the 4th civil consaguinity or affinity.

    First, you are alone with a child in private place (like a house/cubicle) or public place like beerhouse, massage parlor, inns, apartelle, hotels etc, or even in secluded, hidden place like bushes (ok, I made that up as an example).

    Second, a reasonable man might believe that you are about to commit child abuse or you just committed child abuse. Example, you are found naked inside your apartelle w/ young boys who are obviously not related to you. Judging from the fact that boys have yet to undress themselves, a reasonable man like me would conclude that abuse is yet to happen and must be stopped. Or I went into your room, you were smoking under the covers, kids are naked, tired. It looks to me that the abuse was already committed.

    Rusty, as a Filipino, I should tell you that for you to be charged under this law, you have to have pedophiliac tendencies at the very least or at the very least, you should be guilty of child labor for employing them. I have personally seen how many foreigners get away w/ child abuse. Back in the 80s, Puerto Galera & Pagsanjan was teeming w/ pedophiles. Although our criminal laws already prosecutes sex w/ minors, the RA 7610 was a special law enacted only in 1992. The difference is abuse is presumed when caught under those two circumstances. I’m not sure w/ the Revised Penal Code (Criminal law) but I think sex w/ minors are private crimes, meaning they can be only brought to the court upon the complaint of the family. Under RA 7610, anybody can enforce the law. I see you in the walking in the bushes w/ a boy not related to you, I can call the cops etc.

  14. says

    do you want me to ask my wifes cousin about the law he is a lawyer in cebu, his opinion on the law would clear alot of questions up!

  15. David S. says

    Of the cases I’ve followed on various sites, all have involved an adult male alone with a child under 12 they’re not related to. I’ve heard about cases of under age women in the sex trade attempting to scam men but that’s a different issue.

    The example given of someone sitting at a table in a public eating place and having an univited guest join them or even being in the company of a women and her children isn’t covered under this legislation. If, however, she were to leave you to babysit or you invited some street kids over and fed them a free breakfast, you’d be at risk.

    The law is poorly worded and too broad. It should have included some language of demonstrated intent to do harm. Merely being in the presence of a minor is too much. The way its written, you couldn’t even give a friend’s child a ride home from school without being guilty of committing a crime.

    I understand the concern the legislators have. As a parent, I am an advocate of children’s safety, but this law will be too easily abused.

  16. Atong Estrada says

    Agree, this law can be abused easily! But I don’t care, it’s up to the person to prove his innocence in court. The most important thing is the phedophiles would be scared to come near or be alone with a minor if they knew there’s an existing law like this. They will be deterred befriending a child. Some commenters are right, this law was enacted to target foreigners. Maybe because phedophiles are usually western men or sometimes japanese men? These people are notorious in the 80s and early 90s for soliciting child prostitution…some of these freaks were even caught with five teenage boys inside their hotel room….Now, where are these freaks travelling to after this law was signed in the Philippines? Hell f$#@$!$ Thailand! That’s right miho, because there’s no law like this in Thailand…

    USA needs to have a law like this…This would greatly reduce the child molestation cases here in the US…Where I live here in the US, there are 18 registered child molesters living within 1 mile radius from our house…

    http://www.icrimewatch.net/results.php?AgencyID=54336&whichaddr=&SubmitAddrSearch=1&AddrStreet=1705+JUDY+DR+&AddrCity=plano&AddrState=44&AddrZip=75074&AddrZipPlus=&radius=1

  17. rc says

    “But I don’t care, it’s up to the person to prove his innocence in court. ”

    That brings up a great question. In the US, it’s the opposite…innocent until proven guilty. Is guilty until proven innocent actually the basis of Philippine jurisprudence?

  18. rc says

    I read all the comments here and I’ve at least formed this opinion. I think this law, as currently written, is a tragedy. The reason it’s tragedy is because it may make foreigners fearful of Filipino children. Both lose out.

    No, I’m not talking about the occasional pedophile…those folks need to rot in jail for the rest of their lives. I’m talking about the average tourist or expat who may avoid children on their visits because of this. I’ve never been to the philippines (very soon…already have th ticket), but from what I have read and seen in videos…they are really are one of the best parts of the society…the are bright and inquisitive and fun loving kids for the most part…and very friendly.

    It looks like they are a joy to watch and be around and talk to…just wonderful. I think everybody loses (including the kids) if foreigners become afraid of them and don’t feel safe talking to them.

    The guy charged here may be guilty of actually harming those kids…we don’t know…but the law seems so broad, that you can’t be sure. I’d be thrilled to talk to a little Filipino when I visit…now, I’m worried about it.

  19. roy says

    Hi Rusty, finally we agree on ONE thing, that the law is not enacted for foreigners only and therefore applies to everyone.

    I just remember reading somebody saying that the law is for foreigners only. sorry if I got you confused w/ some comments.

    Now, I’m still waiting your reply where you will tell me why I did not read the law correctly. I requested you on this in my earlier comment.

    Thanks.

  20. says

    In my original post I said something that was incorrect. I thought only certain government agencies could actually file a complaint. That is not the case:

    ARTICLE XI
    Remedial Procedures

    Section 27. Who May File a Complaint. – Complaints on cases of unlawful acts committed against the children as enumerated herein may be filed by the following:

    (a) Offended party;

    (b) Parents or guardians;

    (c) Ascendant or collateral relative within the third degree of consanguinity;1awphi1@ITC

    (d) Officer, social worker or representative of a licensed child-caring institution;

    (e) Officer or social worker of the Department of Social Welfare and Development;

    (f) Barangay chairman; or

    (g) At least three (3) concerned responsible citizens where the violation occurred.

    Anyone can file a complaint.

  21. John Miele says

    Rusty: I’ve been tied up a few days and am late to the party, but I tend to agree with you and Bob that the stories tend to be blown way out of proportion and are not that common. It is obvious that this law was well-intended, but poorly written (Laws anywhere often are).

    One thing that I have noticed: In almost every case against expats that I have heard of here, very, very seldom is the expat completely blameless and innocent concerning his actions. It is usually through a combination of naivete, ignorance, and placing himself in compromising places and positions that is where people end up in trouble. I mean, realistically, most of the horror stories involve a girl, a bar, or combination of the two. There is also often the “met someone on the NET and she ripped me off… Feel sorry for me” situation. Yes, these things happen, but there are a hell of a lot of sex predators in the country, and the RP is a prime destination for sex tourists and child traffickers. Many of those taken set themselves up for it or, in some cases, deserve everything they get.

    Reading the extensive comments, almost everything discussed was hypothetical… Only the two cases you mentioned and the one Bob mentioned were documentable. Most people, in the real world here, would not be arrested for talking to a child or trying to help some kid needing medical attention. Could you honestly believe the police would bother, even for the opportunity of graft? It is far easier to get graft using other methods, and they involve far less work and paperwork. Yes, the way the law is written, it COULD happen, but just because it could, doesn’t mean it will. There are many other things that are more likely. The vast, vast majority of expats, using common sense and having good intentions, will never face this issue.

  22. says

    When I wrote this I asked if I was over reacting or under reacting. Now I think my reaction is about right.

    I’m concerned about this law but it wont cause any big changes in my life. At least I hope not. I hope I wont be afraid to take pictures of kids, I really like taking pictures of kids at play, especially when they don’t notice. Harder to accomplish that here since the kids are usually looking at me.

    I think men living with Filipina that are still married but separated but have children with their husband are putting their self at risk. Its another way for someone you make mad to get back at you and there is an outside of officials using it to extort money, but that’s not likely at all.

  23. says

    A very important update to this story. I started to make it a follow up story but I plan to move on and it would likely take a week to be published. There is a story in The Freeman that is alarming. I’ll let you do draw your own conclusions though:

    The 15-year-old victim said she decided to file a complaint against Rohn to exonerate her parents from allegations that they “knowingly expose me to Gary’s evil-doing against children.” Authorities have reportedly been “grilling” her parents

    The full article is at: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=475841&publicationSubCategoryId=107

  24. says

    Cebu daily news has published an article that explains how the 12 year old girl that was with Kuntz escaped.

    They suspect the mother had something to do with it since the mother visited the girl 2 days before and they were seen wishpering, thata’s according to DSWD.

    On point with our discussion here, CDN confirms the law applies to any place, public or private.

    http://cdn.ph/photostore/news_details.php?id=2769

  25. stevo says

    Hi Rusty, This is the first time that I have been on your site, so nice to meet you. Anyway, let me tell you that I’m not in Davao City right now, but my wife, son, and our new baby daughter( 8 months old), are. They are staying at our house there. As I’ve told Bob, I am recovering from injuries sustained in an accident at work. Let me get to my point. My wife says that every time she takes the baby girl out to the mall or wherever, women go nuts, want to hold the baby and one perfect stranger even kissed the baby. Could this be considered child abuse? Hey,maybe I’m a dumb paranoid Kano, but I don’t want strange people’s DNA on any of my family! My wife and I have had disagreements about this, but I told her that I just don’t want strangers near my daughter. If this was here in Illinois, there is NO WAY I would let it happen. She says that it’s part of the culture. I say I will protect my family. I have instructed my relatives to go with my daughter wherever they go in public. Also, my son holds a brown belt in Karate. I have told him to use restraint, and get a security guard if needed. Otherwise, she can’t go out anywhere. Am I wrong? So many children are abducted, abused, and kidnapped. I just want to protect my kids. It’s not safe here anymore in the town that I live in. There gangs everywhere, as well as sexual predators, plus sex offenders. I appreeciate you letting me get this off my chest, Dr. Rusty.

  26. says

    hello rusty
    one day i took my fiancee little brother into town for icecream and a trycle driver asked my little brother how we are related and i know he said kuya to the driver and that was the end of thier conversation.i didnt think it was bad of the driver to find out what was happening.i actually think it was good the driver make sure everything was lagit and safe for the youngster.
    wish we had more laws in the usa and people that cared more here.
    thanks rusty

  27. stevo says

    Hi Rusty, Sorry about sounding too paranoid, I am thinking like an overprotective American father. I know that most people mean well and get excited about looking at babies. Anyway, my wife, who is in Davao City right now has assured me that someone in the family will always be watching when they go out. I will be retiring in 6 years, so we will be there then. I am glad that you are talking about this subject, but it’s not always easy. I am trying to lighten up. Keep up the good work.

  28. says

    Hello Men,
    I have been reading this agument and Find it most interesting. This is a Story I will Tell you I have been in court three Years because I had some property awarded to me and retained by my X in-laws. I began by having a in chambers meeting with the defendants.. Who are enjoying my stuff even to this date. the Judge said to me at that meeting with my lawyer at my side “”what is the problem?? You are rich they are poor..” finally I was able to get this judge removed from the case.. I fired the lawyer and got another. let me tell you from personal experiance in the court.. If you are not a Philippno most likely you are going to have a very hard time getting Justice. Here there is no equal justice. If you think there is you are decived. I live and have retired here because I have limited income. But let me tell you just go out and buy a 1 Peso candy from a vendor in Cebu if you are not Philippno they will try to double the price at least. It used to realy make me angry Now I just except these things as part of the Price of living here where I can afford. Fact there is not equality under the Law period for guys like you here. Just get over it and be careful. It is a game here and you are the one being hunted. As I said get over it, accept it or I just have to pack up and leave..

  29. erik cable says

    Wow
    I never read such along battle of wits before.Point counter point!
    In the end from what I can understand from the discussion of the law and the way it shall be inforced,is up to the police.
    If any of you had kids playing softball at the age of 10 and under.
    The umpire is alone on the field with 20 kids.
    While the parents are confined to the outside.
    I was an umpire for 9 years and there were always some parents that would have loved to call the cops on me!
    I never made a bad call!

  30. tone says

    I think it is very funny how long this argument went on. If the law stated both public and private places then that is what it meant i.e everywhere. the examples given were only meant to give some illustration not to limit the areas to which it applied. The legislation is good intentioned, but badly worded as it could include many innocent scenarios which would be open to exploitation by devious people.

  31. says

    No rc, I don’t think you are reading it right. The law says a minor ten years you junior. A person over 18 is not a minor, so her )or his) age versus yours does not matter. But it surely would apply to being in the company of a 17yo, for example, if you are over 27.

  32. says

    You said a mouthful there, Ed, we, as foreigners must know the law. I see foreigners breaking the law, sometime sin a serious manner, everyday … many likely don’t know how close to the edge they are ‘skating’. Rusty made an important point in one very prevalent problem area .. married friends. Many foreign men come to the Philippines and ‘keep comopany’ with women who are legally married. (remember, even if she is leaglly separated, she is still married).

    This can bring a charge of fornication (yes, that is a crime in the Philippines) even between consenting adults, or estafa (breaking the trust of the marriage contacts) or, if she has minor children and you are ‘in their company’, child abuse.

    The scary part of this law is, you don’t have to do anything wrong, you are breaking the law merely be being with the child. Frankly, it scares the dickens out of me, I often hesitate to go anywhere alone.

    In Manila malls this is a common scenario. A tourist is tired and thirsty so he stops for a drink and a snack and sits down at a table in the mall food court. A girl walks up and sits down, uninvited. If the man just has a casual conversation with her there’s a chance a corrupt police officer (or even a phony one, how would the foreigner know?) appears from out of nowhere, asks both parties for ID and threatens the man with child abuse charges as the girl always is underage.

    A typical ‘buy out’ from a situation like this runs $4 or $5000 USD … or, of course, you can go ahead and get arrested, get processed into Manila City Jail and when your case comes up in a few weeks attempt to explain how innocent your conversation was … and maybe your conversation was totally innocent … the fact that you were in the ‘childs’ company makes you guilty, even if all you were talking about was what Sunday School she went to.

    It’s a terrible law, in my view, and one that is being abused big time every day here in the Philippines.

  33. says

    Hmm, really? I’ve seen a few t-shirts with weed on them. Not as often as i did in the states but I have seen it here.

    You have any source for that law? Its not an issue for me, I don’t have anything like that but I’d like to know.

  34. rc says

    Thanks Dave…I thought the wording was confusing…in the case of the prostitution law, I read that in any prostitution type case, the woman is always considered a minor or ‘child’ to emphasize the seriousness of the crime…didn’t know if the same kind of logic applied in this case.

  35. says

    Larry, I share you concern about the law but, I just don’t see public officials engaging in extortion. I know I’m taking a largely unpopular position for an expat and I know of all the extortion stories but sometimes I see these stories on the net, word for word but from different people.

    There is corruption here, I often do things in a way that I think helps protect myself but I really think that the idea of public officials extorting money from expats is way over blown.

    This law has now been used a fourth time in an amazing way. I think the girl is extorting money from the expat but he’s getting exactly what he deserves. The arrested the American and the girl had spent some time in the sack, afterwards the girl complained of stomach cramps. The expat was charged for denying medical aid! I wrote about it here . There is also a link to the news story there that is worth reading. I cannot figure out why they charged him with denying medical aid! The girl was only 16! I suspect she said, I have pain, I need to go to the hospital, give me P50,000 so I can go.

    Listening to expats, I had come to think that the place was completely corrupt. There are problems! maybe I’ve just been lucky. I’m not talking about the top levels of government, we don’t deal with those people as expats, I wish I was rubbing elbows with governors and presidents. :)

    I’ve seen some petty stuff, P500 for a better place in line or someone having to pay to get off the waiting list for DSL installation. I’ve had to pay customs fees that I don’t believe were due.

    Take this law for example, it has only been used four times and in those cases, it appears sometimes with strong indications that much more is going on. There’s no evidence of abuse here.

    I agree the potential for abuse is obvious. The law tries to limit that by allowing only a few organizations being able to bring charges. If a high level politician wants the DSWD to proceed though, they can put a lot of pressure on them to see that it happens.

    I’m bringing up this point that corruption seems overblown to me as I was pretty afraid of it at one point. I’m not now and if I should be, I’d like to hear about it.

  36. roy says

    Hi Larry, you say ‘poorly written’ laws? Can you pls cite a particular provision that makes you think it’s confusing etc?

  37. says

    Ed, the person would have to be under 18 for them to use it on you.

    Of course, if they had children they could still use it. Based on this latest case I mentioned a comment, if a Filipina asked you for money to help her child see the doctor, are you denying medical attention? I don’t know.

    I don’t know if the agency would act without evidence. Most of the time, the accusation alone isn’t enough, the authorities want evidence. A nearby police chief told me this. At the same time, he told me what I already knew. Never be alone with a Filipina that you don’t trust with your freedom. In rape cases, it appears to me, the accusation alone is enough. With RA 7610, I think they are going to want evidence. There has been more than just an accusation in cases so far.

  38. says

    I often hear these stories too. They remind me a lot of the stories I heard around the camp fire at deer camp back in the states.

    Oddly enough, these stories almost always seem to happen to a friend or a friend of a friend. Its very hard to find first person accounts of these things.

    I have begun to discount the stories a great deal.

    The rumor bill is very much alive in the Philippines. Someone you and I know is rumoured to be dead and buried for about a year now. Even though I’ve told some of the people that are telling it, that it is not true, they just keep telling it. Its much more fun that way. I’m going to be using it as a story soon. Gonna play on that old Beatles gimmick they used back in the 60′s “Paul is Dead” theme. :)

    I’ve only seen two people come under the scrutiny of the law here. One for a minor thing, the other for a major situation. Both had it coming, they were guilty and in one case, guilty of a lot more than charged with.

    I seem to be the only person with this view, that there is much less danger to expats here than what one reads about. If I’m wrong, I’m likely setting myself up for trouble. So if I’m wrong, I want to hear about it.

    There are certain things you shouldn’t do as an expat. Most of those involve keeping your flap shut, Filipino don’t think its any of your business how they run their country. And if your a native, they too should shut their flap, well, I admire the ones that don’t. Unfortunately, far too often, they end up dead. There are practises here that I have deep problems with but it is improper for me to speak of those. I’m really dying to bring one up now but it is likely a violation of my tourist visa so I will shut up.

    For me, I have without any doubt, found paradise or as close to it as your going to find on earth.

    In this particular law, as long as it is one the books, don’t be in the company of children your not related too. If you do, there is a risk but I will say again, what I’ve seen about the law in the Philippines is that common sense is still the rule. Americans surely have trouble with this concept, after 200+ years of lawyering, our laws have been manipulated in every way possible.

    Every involved in a legal matter in the US? Did justice prevail? Especially a civil matter? Criminal cases usually err in the favor of the defendant in the US and thank God for that! Some common sense sure would be helpful in our civil law. “I spilt coffee on my privates and they didn’t tell me it was hot?”

    Try that here. :)

    I THINK it was the owner of this site has written of a time someone unfairly accused him of an issue of business matter. Called up before a Barangay Captain. The Captain ruled in his favor. Could have been another site, sorry Bob if I got you mixed up with someone else.

    The situations I know about, I just find a different picture than what most people paint. I’m the worst person I know for telling it like it is. I suck at keeping my mouth shut. :) If I was seeing these kinds of things that I hear so much about, I’d be talking.

  39. says

    Hi Rusty – A couple of things….

    First, you are not the only expat with the view that there is a lot less danger for expats than most say. I share that view. I don’t think they are out to get expats here. There are isolated cases where expats are taken advantage of, but it is not the rule.

    Secondly, yes, it was me who was brought to Barangay Court. It wasn’t really a business matter, but a personal matter. We were accused of not paying our rent and of damaging the house that we were renting. We went to the Barangay court and the Barangay captain, after listening to both sides quickly ruled for me, and basically told the landlord to quit wasting his time, because it was obvious that she was untruthful. I was worried about that when we had to go to court, but justice did prevail, and immediately.

  40. says

    Hi roy – The way the law is written, if you follow the words of the law, it would seem that you could be charged with abuse if you simply walk down the sidewalk and a minor comes up to you and asks for money. I mean, it is a minor, and they are “in your company” and “in a public” place. Am I somehow mis-understanding the letter of the law?

  41. says

    Roy, there is no way I could not be prosecuted in the US for being in the company of a child.

    I couldn’t even be prosecuted for being alone with a child.

    If the child made accusations it would probably end up in Juvenile court with the judge issuing a restraining order that would prevent me from having contact with the child, which I would ask for. I wouldn’t want any contact with that child again under any circumstance.

    This actually brings up Barrry’s point. Its good this law allowed the police to go in and remove those kids in the two cases on Bantayan Island.

    Child protective services in the US has a lot of power. They may have been able to go in and remove the child but I don’t think they would have been able to arrest any of the men with the evidence they had at the time. Two of the girls have since the originally arrest in the second case on Bantayan have now stated they were molested. They denied it at the time.

  42. roy says

    “if a Filipina asked you for money to help her child see the doctor, are you denying medical attention? I don’t know.”

    You don’t know Rusty? You’ll be in serious trouble there if you don’t know by now. :-)

  43. says

    Roy – Article 6, Section 10b:

    (b) Any person who shall keep or have in his company a minor, twelve (12) years or under or who in ten (10) years or more his junior in any public or private place, hotel, motel, beer joint, discotheque, cabaret, pension house, sauna or massage parlor, beach and/or other tourist resort or similar places shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period and a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000): Provided, That this provision shall not apply to any person who is related within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity or any bond recognized by law, local custom and tradition or acts in the performance of a social, moral or legal duty.

    Public place. It doesn’t have to be any of the places listed, only a public place. The bench on the sidewalk is a public place. The table at McDonald’s is a public place. Actually any place that is not a private place is a public place. Private places would be worse than a public place. In fact, the law says “any public or private place.” So, if you are in the company of a child who is not related to you in any place on the planet, you can be charged under this law.

    Am I missing something? Does the law say that the places are only limited to the places listed? I don’t see that anywhere.

  44. says

    By the way, Roy, under the law, being in the company of a minor (i.e. being in the same place with a minor) is not an act of child prostitution. It is an act of “other child abuse” under the law. So, simply talking to a child, under this law, is child abuse, as I read it.

    One thing that is particularly troubling to me is that the prosecutor is quoted as saying that this law applies “especially to foreigners.” Is it OK to abuse a child if you are Filipino? Shouldn’t the law be applied equally to all?

    Roy, you are in the States. How would you feel if a law was passed that made something illegal “for Filipinos”? I mean… that’s just not equal justice. Frankly, it’s not justice at all.

  45. roy says

    Hi Bob, I think you were referring to the implementing rules of the RA 7610 while I was using the law itself. Under RA 7610, a reasonable person should conclude that sexual abuse happened or about to happen given the nature of the place. So finding yourself w/ a minor (who’s not related to you) in bench in the sidewalk will not endanger you w/ being charged under that law.

    The law does not limit the places where it can be committed. It only enumerated places where it may be committed. It had to enumerate the places like inns, massage parlors, beer houses because these are also places of work. So even if it’s ‘public’, you can still be charged. You can also be charged if you bring a child who is not related to you inside the cave. The “cave” is not listed but “a reasonable person” could ask what did you do there w/ that child who’s not related to you?

  46. roy says

    Bob, RA 7610 did not define what is a public place. Under Sec. 3. Definition of Terms, the term “public place” was not defined. Be that as it may, the law enumerated public places. I would think that McDonald’s, malls are not in the same nature as that of motel, beer joint, other tourist resorts or similar places.

    I just quoted the law w/c you also rely on.

    “…..in any public or private place, hotel, motel, beer joint, discotheque, cabaret, pension house, sauna or massage parlor, beach and/or other tourist resort or similar places….”

    Ok, the last words ” similar places” should refer to the series f public places referred to such as cabaret, pension house etc etc.

    Finally, the Philippines, whether you believe or not is also patterned to the US Judicial System. Hence, we adhere to elementary rules of statutory construction.

    why do I think that McDonald’s, mall restaurants do not fall under “similar places” of public places enumerated by the law.

    Please read on.

    15) “Under the rule of ejusdem generis, when a particular class of persons or things is enumerated in a statute and general words follow, the general words are to be restricted in their meaning to a sense analogous to the less general, particular words. East Coast Freight Lines v. City of Richmond, 194 Va. 517, 525, 74 S.E.2d 283, 288 (1953); Rochingham Bureau v. Harriosnburg, 171 Va. 339, 344, 198 S.E. 908, 911, (1938). Likewise, according to the maxim noscitur a sociis (associated words) when general and specific words are grouped, the general words are limited by the specific and will be construed to embrace only objects similar in nature to those things identified by the specific words. Commonwealth v. United Airlines, 219 Va. 374, 389, 248 S.E.2d 124, 132-33 (1978); Hensley v. City of Norfolk, 216 Va. 369, 374, n.5, 218 S.E.2d 735, 740, n.5 (1975)” Wood v. Henry County Public Schools, 255 Va. 85, 495 S.E.2d 255, (1998).

  47. says

    Hi Roy – No, I was referring to RA 7610 itself, just a different section that you looked at. Under the words of the law, sitting on a bench in plain view, in public with a child who is not related is child abuse.

    We absolutely agree that the charge can happen anyplace. In a cave, or sitting at a public restaurant table. So, if you talk to a child anywhere in public (or private) you can be charged as an abuser. Especially if you are a foreigner.

  48. says

    Roy, when I read that section of the law you citied, I too thought it was a game changer. It is not. If you do those things, then you are guilty of ATTEMPTED PROSTITUTION and instead of prison mayor the pentality can be prison perpetual or whatever the correct language is. There is another law that deals with the same content to some degree but does not include the in the “presence of children clause.”

    The reasonable man idea you mention may be a good one. I think this law would be found to be unconscionable in the US but that’s a theory that applies in US law. I don’t know about Philippine law. And in the US its a theory of thee law, a common theme. The US law is vastly different from Philippine law so there is no way i can apply what I know of that to the Philippines. It would be unconscionable to arrest and imprison a person for giving street children money.

  49. says

    No matter who does what “most often” the law should apply equally to all. The prosecutor specifically said that the law in question applies “especially to foreigners.” So, it would make sense that foreigners should have extra scrutiny, be watched carefully, because this law is specifically aimed at them. That is what has been said. Was it lame to say it? Yes it was. But, it was not a layman who said it, but a prosecutor who is charged with defending the laws of the state. That makes it quite offensive to me.

  50. says

    Roy, The US does not have a single law that makes something illegal to one class of people. The US has many laws that favor the Philippines. The US provides monetary assistance to the Philippines. We are quite pleased that the Philippines is one of our allies. Filipino fight well, we don’t want to battle them. LOL

    In the US, you can cross the border illegally and still get educated in our schools. California wanted to get them drivers licenses, I’m not sure how that came out and we provide illegals with the same medical benefits any US citizen gets for free For example, they can’t be turned away at an emergency rooms because they can’t pay the bill, illegals generally don’t pay taxes but the US Citizen pays that bill and I like it that way. When you get into the US, you have every right that US Citizens has, that’s why some created prisons outside of the US to avoid those requirements, I’d go into detail but Bob will yell at me for talking politics. :)

    The US doesn’t pass laws against a race and making if a prosecutor made a statement like that regarding a case he is prosecuting, he’d be fired and probably disbarred. Under the US system, that would be appropriate.

    Is it possible he was misquoted, yes it is possible. All of say things, we shouldn’t have said. I’ll personally chalk that up to that.

  51. says

    Hi roy – the law specifically defines what abuse is. It is “being in the company” of the child. If you are just standing on the street corner talking, you are in each other’s company, so it is logical to say that talking a child is, in the Philippines, abuse of that child, especially if you are a foreigner. The law does not say it is abuse to do things detrimental to the child, it says to be in each other’s company is defined as abuse.

  52. says

    Roy the law says any place public or private. It is not limited to those places but includes those places. The concentrate on those places.

    They even hold classes regarding this law with hotel and resort owners. ANY interaction with a child is covered under the letter of this law.

    Agencies that enforce the law put themselves in jeapordy if they do not enforce a law to its letter. The courts can later determine what is reasonable. I personlly am not in a position to defend myself adequately for an agency doing what a law requires them to do.

    What Bob is refering to was quoted in the origional post but here it is again:

    Lawyer Irene Cabales of the Children’s Legal Bureau said they would want to test Republic Act 7610 that prohibits anyone, especially foreigners, from having minors under their custody.

    The parents of the child found with Mr. Kuntz have been charged with:

    [ REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9231]

    AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ELIMINATION OF THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR AND AFFORDING STRONGER PROTECTION FOR THE WORKING CHILD, AMENDING FOR THIS PURPOSE REPUBLICT ACT NO. 7610. AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “SPECIAL PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AGAINST CHILD’ ABUSE, EXPLOITATION AND DISCRIMINATION ACT”

    The anti-human trafficking laws could also be used in some cases. RA 7610 appears to be intnded to grab people where less evidence is available and in cases where sexual abuse is not indicated, such as denying medical attention.

    Perhaps you didn’t realize that someone was charged with that last week. He was guilty of much worse.

  53. says

    There’s several laws that can be used in cases of prostitution. I’ve not seen wording where they are treated as minors but they are ALWAYS assumed to be a victim. Anti-trafficking laws provide that in the law.

    That too could be used to extort money. Trips to Angeles City would put one in danger in my opinion if the expat is going for the most common reason.

    Professional girls that walk the street would be far more dangerous. At least the bars in Angeles City have reputation to be concerned about. Men getting scammed by the bar girls would not be good for business.

  54. says

    Dave, you’re write except the law makes it wrong to be in the company of the child so now its wrong.

    The estranged, separated spouse is a huge problem. HUGE!

    You say the law is abused every day. How do you know that? As far as I can tell, its only been used four times. I expect that number to go up now that it has been getting press.

    I’m starting to get concerned about the attitude toward sexy situations in Cebu province. I’ve known sex is taboo since the beginning going after bikini contest though concerns me. Its not my place to judge what is right or wrong in the culture, I’m not doing that. But how will that culture view me is of direct concern to me. People call me a liberal, but when one gets to know me, they discover I’m a libertarian. I think there is a place for government. I don’t want government in my business or your business when there is no legitimate reason for it. I don’t think imposing ones morals on me is legitimate. Even some beauty contest could come under scrutiny in Cebu, per our current Governor. Again, its improper for me to go into another country and tell them whats right or wrong. I’m not doing that. The mindset though concerns me.

    Based on the lawyer’s statement, this law has not made it to court yet. Based on the cases I’ve seen so far, all of them were justified. I’m not buying the good Samaritan story Kruntz is giving. His story doesn’t make sense and as Judge Judy would say, “if it doesn’t make sense, its probably not true.”

    And if a guy is living with a Filipina that has children, he’s put himself in harms way. If that woman has a 10 year old daughter it could be bad. If he has been alone with her, it can be deemed attempted prostitution! And this applies to a LOT of men.

    I hope common sense prevails, it usually does in this legal system, but this law could be heavily abused. Its scary.

  55. says

    Oh roy, always keeping people on their toes. :)

    I thought about that too.

    Its may be poorly conceived law or thought threw. The intent is certainly good.

    I’d really like to hear more of what you have to say on this. Do you think I’m wrong about the common sense being a integral part of the legal system of the Philippines. In every system, there are parts to it that someone from the outside might not understand as its not written down. You’re Filipino, correct? What is your opinion on the law and the common sense factor. I really want to learn from you!

  56. says

    Come on now, Roy, I know your role in life is to be the foreigner baiter, but that comment surprises me, even so.

    Let me give you a real world example. On my street are many families with children. Every day I walk to my in-laws house about 6 pm. Most of the children know me since I have ben here 3 years now. They love to run up to me, try out their English, make jokes about my belt line or hair line, ride their biles to show off, and even make conversation. It used to be a high pint of my day.

    Now, according to this well intentioned but totally illogically written law, I’m in violation. I am ‘in the company’ of some of these children, especially if they follow me, as children often love to do. Scares the dickens out of me, I’ll tell you. All I need is some neighbor whom I have made mad for whatever reason, to call the barangay patrol and accuse me, under the law and prima facie, I’m guilty … becuase the law doesn’t specify I have to _do_ anything improper, just being in the company of these children makes me a criminal.

    Now stop and think this through for a moment, without your ‘racial-colored glasses’ on (if you can) and I think you will agree it is ill-conceived and scary.

  57. andy says

    Roy Hello and I read moct of all your comments and like most if not all. Not this though. If I had read this post before the last time I went there I would have been in constance fear. You see everytime I was sent to the store or mall Josey’s 6 year old want to go with me. She knew I would take her to Mc D’s or buy her what she wanted. That law reads public or private. Is a mall consisered public? is 6 considered under 12? I am glad I did not read this before I came last time. The worst fact of the law there is a filipina or filipino camplained, as a blue eyed tall American I would have no defence at all. STUPID wording of a otherwise good protecting law. Perverts need to be in jail. Nice people with not bad intent but buy a burger and fries do not. Whoops just so you Know I still like you very much Roy and will live there shortly.

  58. says

    I know what makes sense Roy.

    I know if some stranger ask me for money to take her kid to the doctor it doesn’t make sense to me that I’m legally obligated to do so.

    This law, makes me question that.

    I’d really like to hear your thoughts in detail.

    Reading the law, the answer is yes, I could be charged if it is held to the letter of thee law. Would it be? Why not? How am I protected?

  59. says

    Renting is business matter. :) At least to the landlord. :) I just didn’t want to be that specific.

    I thought you held a view much like mine but are we alone?

    Gossip is so much more fun when its about unfair or bad things. :) I really think that’s what is going on in this.

    Roy can’t be every where to keep everyone on their toes. LOL

    Other expats had me scared to death for a long time. I thought something was going to go badly many times and I’d ask Jessie and she’d tell me no, it would be fine. It still happens. A kid was playing on our porch. We were inside. He fell. he could have been hurt very badly, I’m surprised he wasn’t. First thing that came out of my mouth was “is this going to be my fault?” She said no. In the US, who knows! Probably would have been. They were walking on the ledge and he fell off. Don’t see them playing around there any more. I’ve made a point of being nice to them because of the last person that lived here was American and scared the kids to death.

    I’m getting more comfortable and confident with my perceptions of the Philippines now that I’ve had a hear and a half to digest things. Challenging the perception toward massive corruption isn’t very popular, probably wont make me any friends. Sigh, I’m going to be all alone on this branch again. LOL Well, your with me but that’s not good, the branch ain’t all that thick my friend. LOL

    Speaking of the American that lived here, I was searching for Preston Jay Kuntz and found a conversation on his forum. He said the oficials in the Kuntz case should be ashamed of themselves and believes the guy wa

    Anyone in their right mind would get chills being in that kind of situation! Nothing normal about it.

  60. says

    No Ed, ignorance of the law wouldn’t make any difference at all.

    I just asked a Filipina and she said she is aware of no such laws and lots of actors wear such shirts.

    That doesn’t mean there was no such law in the area you were in. The law may have also been struck down in court. It could also be the law is there, just not enforced USUALLY and the military of course wanted to be extra careful of the image.

  61. says

    I hadn’t thought of that but you’re right it wont deter most pediophiles because they can’t properly view their actions the way most of us do.

    A paedophile might think it looks innocent to be with a 9 year old girl in a hotel room but for the rest of us, that’s dang hard to believe.

    I think an ever bigger area for concern is the separated spouses. Not too much gets nastier than a divorce, no matter what the name you call it by.

    Giving money to a child could put one in jeopardy too if the letter of the law is followed.

  62. says

    I think you know the answer to that Bob, that was lawyer talk and personal views, not part of the law. Still it does imply that he is biased toward foreigners.

    You are correct on Other Child Abuse vs Prostitution Bob, its hard to read all fo the law, but I did. Being alone with a child bumps it up to attempted child prostitution even if nothing happened. With a possible life in prison charge.

  63. says

    Hi Rusty – I understand that that is not part of the law. However, the prosecutor is a representative of the state. The state should be looking for justice, not for targeting foreigners.

  64. says

    Hello Barry, Been a while since I’ve talked with you. We talked a while back.

    Barry if my 12 year old daughter was at a resort with a man not related to me, you “betcha” I’d want the %*(&(8 thrown in jail.

    This law covers walking down the street and interacting with a child that walks up to you. Something that happens every time I walk out the door.

    I just went outside, there was a delightful young Filipina that wanted to ask me a lot of questions about my monkey. That situation made me recall this law. Kids talk to me all the time.

    The older I get, the more precious children become. Their innocence really stands out at times. They ask questions and say things older people wouldn’t because of this innocence.

    Being for the protection of a child is like being in favor of oxygen, who isn’t in favor of that except of the extremely demented. I’m also opposed to people being wrongfully incarcerated. I don’t think that is a problem so far in how this law has been used. That old theory, “if something can go wrong, it will go wrong” is applicable. I’m willing to bet that if you are one of the ones that an agency decides to test the letter of the law with, you wont see it the same way you do now.

    All I want it someone to enlighten me as to why this law wont be abused. I have exceptionally bad luck, maybe that’s got something to do with it. :)

  65. Bacolod Barry says

    Hi Rusty

    This is a difficult one to address.
    On one hand, when should pedophiles be prevented from child abuse?
    after the child is abused?
    or try to prevent a stranger to child relationship developing in the first instance.

    I don’t know the answer, but I know for sure if anyone attempts anything with my children, it will be the last thing they do.

    On the other hand, I don’t want to go into jail because I spoke to one of my childrens friends about her schoolwork etc.

  66. roy says

    Carlin, in Spain I would imagine you are not allowed to be alone w/ a child not related to you. It could be your room, or inside a massage parlor etc. The same also here. How can you not like this law if you are not allowed of the same thing in Spain?

  67. says

    i agree that the law can be a good thing. It allowed the officials to remove girls in two cases where there were strong implications of abuse or potential abuse and arrest the men.

    My problem is what safeguards are in place so it doesn’t end up being used to settle political battles or other disputes. That does seem to happen here. Hi ranking officials have admitted to planting evidence in cases not related to this because they felt they couldn’t catch the people with the evidence. The Filipino I spoke to about this, have no problem with it. Not a scientific poll, to say the least. :)

  68. Atong Estrada says

    ” MindanaoBob says:
    June 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm
    No matter who does what “most often” the law should apply equally to all. The prosecutor specifically said that the law in question applies “especially to foreigners.” So, it would make sense that foreigners should have extra scrutiny, be watched carefully, because this law is specifically aimed at them. That is what has been said. Was it lame to say it? Yes it was. But, it was not a layman who said it, but a prosecutor who is charged with defending the laws of the state. That makes it quite offensive to me.”

    Bob,

    Foreigners should feel privilege for having a law that specifically enacted for them against committing this kind of crime. There was no law like this until the westerners and some asian men start arriving in droves looking for some little boys and girls’ cherries to pop…..
    Usually, if a Filipino is caught or suspected of abusing a child, the law always resides at the end of the Filipino bolo…Now, why this law was enacted? Maybe because the Filipinos wants to be civil with foreigners and not use their bolos or bamboo spears against them?

  69. Atong Estrada says

    When it comes to protecting children why not?

    I only stating my opinion for the particular law in discussion here nothing else. So, don’t take my opinion about this law and apply as my views for the entire law of the land….

  70. jonaky says

    Yes, also by ‘bad apples’ I meant the loonie ‘hard case’ chancers, the ‘don’t give a ****’ types, in short the products of a too-soft legal system in the country they grew up in, especially the UK at present(in my opinion). These are the people who tend to have way-outdated notions about farawawy countries, very prejudiced views on foreign people, culture, traditions and races, lacking respect and just not up to speed on anything that requires reading ANYTHING. They won’t even know about these laws. I’m sure you know the type. Booze-tourists in short. Won’t even read a no-smoking sign?

  71. says

    Roy, you have not read the law correctly. It seems impossible to get you to understand you’re refering to a section of the law about prostitution. I know of two cases were men have been jailed for being in the company fo children.

    In the case of Kuntz, that’s all the have. The family and the girl say nothing happened, he’s just a friend of the family. There is no proof of anything more going on. He was in the company of a minor and that is it.

    When they arrested Rohn that’s all they had on him as well. Since then, two of the girls have said he molested them. As it stands now, Kuntz has escaped to the US and Rohn sits in a jail.

    It will be interesting to see if the US will extradite Kuntz. Since being in the presense of children is not illegal in the US. The US has been putting presure on PI to stop human trafficking and if this child was, in effect, sold to Mr. Kuntz, that would be human trafficking.

    As I said before, the law provides for life in prison for child prostitution. In the company of children is prison mayor. If your going to refuse to read what is on the paper, I can’t persuade you to do so.

  72. says

    Estrada, there are more Filipino commiting crimes against children than there are white men doing it.

    Suddenly, I’m not feeling all that welcome here. :(

  73. says

    It is also disturbing that it seems to have become the Filipino think this is such a good law that we should adopt it. It has become a Filipino vs. Kano issue and that makes my skin crawl.

    Its not just disturbing, its sad.

    I believe there is a massive culture clash going on here. It is very obvious the Filipino that have spoken up here, do not understand US law. It is possible, that we don’t understand Philippine law to the same degree.

    I don’t think we should assume just because Atong says we must prove we are innocent means that is actually accurate. If that were true, there wouldn’t need to be an over reaching law like this. This law just makes it illegal, period.

  74. says

    I’d rather no child approach me at this time, but that is impossible. It is very rare that I don’t get approached by a child when I head out the door.

    One little girl talked my ear off yesterday and that was just sitting on my front porch. I went back out and she did it again.

    She was visiting our neighbors.

    I think the extortion schemes are completely over blown, that’s rare. Having someone notice that I took a picture of a child on the street and getting the wrong idea and my ending up in jail is a very real possibility. I have taken some awesome pictures of children. They are on my websites.

  75. Atong Estrada says

    Rc, I’m sure you love children. But be sure to have a Filipino adult with you if you’d like to be around with these children otherwise they will label you as pedophile, and yeah don’t offer them chocolates..very bad idea…

  76. says

    Hi Rusty – I know of many Filipinos who have abused children, and abused them in a number of ways. I know of two cases of Filipino on Filipino sexual abuse. However, I don’t think laws should be considered as “especially” against Filipinos. Laws should be equal for everybody. If you are an offender, you should be jailed, or worse.

  77. Atong Estrada says

    Rusty, no need to get hurt. I’m just stating the truth, you know it was also mentioned by the law practitioner. That law was enacted more of like a deterrent against tourist who solicits children.

    It’s a fact there are Filipino child abusers, no doubt about that…

  78. says

    Hi Rusty – I love kids. Especially since learning to speak Cebuano, I love talking with kids in their language, and it can draw a crowd of kids if I talk to them on the street like that. It really is enjoyable to talk with them and hear what they have to say. But, given this law it is scary to do so, because as the law is written, I do think that just talking with kids could be troublesome. It sounds paranoid, but a simple reading of the law could bring no other conclusion.

  79. says

    I think superman stole my bat mobile, all out.

    My monkey though attracts them.

    Jessie is not always with me when I go outside.

  80. says

    The USA has a task force in Thailand to deal with pedophiles.

    I really hope your views don’t speak for most Filipino.

    Most pedophiles in the Philippines are Filipino. There are men that come here to abuse children, that is true.

    I know of a Filipino being busted for sexual abuse of children not too long ago. It didn’t make the papers.

    You too are subject to this law.

  81. says

    I know Bob, I’ve seen it.

    The kids here use to follow me around. I felt like the pied-piper of Bogo for the first six months. They got use to me but if I could speak the language, it would draw even more, I’m sure.

    I think your actions could be seen as inappropriate if you continue to do so.

    If I didn’t have family ties here now, after seeing Atong’s post, I might pack my bags and leave. Probably not, but the law and he did cause me to think about it.

    This isn’t a battle between expats and natives for me but it certainly seems to be taking that approach. Regardless of what the prosecutor said, Filipino need to be aware, that they too could be charged.

  82. Danny says

    Kamusta mo Rusty/Bob,

    I can see everyones concern here, I too love kids. I am certainly no pediphile or how ever you spell that word. But does that mean to stop interacting with the children there? I would say no, its not like your inviting them back to your house. I see nothing wrong with interacting with the children there, to a certain point that is.
    Rose has told me about the children in her barangay and in Maasin City, when her friend Raquiel’s (now husband-then fiance’) William would visit from the USA, the children loved him so much, and he would go outside and play with them, Raquiel and Rose would be out there with them as well. He had so much fun with those children.
    Theres a lot of things that can happen to you there, but do what you enjoy. I mean..what when we get to the Philippines..we need to just lock ourselves in our house..and only come out to get a little fresh air from time to time. Do what you enjoy doing, and live life…as long as it is not hurting anyone else.
    My two centavos…:)

    Take care now,
    Danny :) :)

  83. roy says

    How convenient. Now, you’re reversing yourself? The law now applies also to pinoys? Only pinoys? What about pinays? It also now applies to both sexes of Filipinos?

    How undemocratic Phil is, suddenly. Once I get back to the Phil, I will feed a boy right at McDonald’s & court attention at all cost so I can be charged w/ the law.

    So I can file a motion to dismiss such charge on the ground that the law does not apply to me because I am not a foreigner of the Republic of the the Philippines.

  84. says

    Roy, I have not said that the law applies only or especially to the foreigners. If you’re going to restate what I’ve said, please get it correct.

  85. says

    Danny, that’s not what the law says. We can HOPE it will be applied only when there appears to be more going on, but that is not what the law says.

    I agree with one thing Roy says, the law is straight forward, I actually hope its not as straight forward as it written.

  86. Atong Estrada says

    Rusty, now that you know that there’s an existing law like this, it only made you smarter not to put yourself in a vulnerable position where you could be found by an enterprising Filipino and use that law to extort money from you. Don’t get butt hurt with what I have shared here, the law was not born out from the whimsical ideas of the lawmakers to target foreigners but was based from history and child sexual abuse court cases wherein most often than not a foreigner is the defender. Enjoy playing with kids but be sure your wife is around…and don’t invite them to play in the Bat Cave and take them for a spin in the Bat Mobile…hehehe

  87. roy says

    Rusty, would you pls copy paste the the provision that you said I’m misreading? & pls cite the provision as well?

    I fully understand from the title alone of the law that it is not only about child prostitution, but child labor & child trafficking as well. But the twin elements have to be present in all cases. Hello? You said it yourself that Phil law operates under common sense (not that I have basis to agree w/ you here but because I presume all laws are supposed to have “common sense”). It will be utterly stupid if you will insist that– that’s how the law should be understood. You are on a sidewalk by McDonals sitting on the bench w/ a child who’s obviously not related to you, you maintain that you’d charged under this law because you are “in the company of the child?”

    How stupid is that? Even if for the sake of argument that it makes sense to ask white men in public who are w/ pinoy kids, do you honestly think that the Phil has the logistics to enforce this? And since the law does not specifically target foreigners, every adult w/ kids in public will be questioned? Or you really insist that this law is enacted against foreigners?

    Where is it written in the law that the law was enacted specifically for foreigners? Please tell me that Rusty.

    Rusty, do not rewrite the law by adding words that it’s not even there.
    Ok, I just scanned the law & I did not see the word “that this law is for foreigners” or even the word “foreigners.” You seem to have read the law extensively so pls enlighten me w/ this one by copy pasting the “F” word. :-)

    And regarding those actual cases (Kuntz & Rohn) you raised, I will not even begin to comment on that. Why? It’s because you’re reciting events that for all I know are not credible. Purely anecdotal, as far as I’m concerned. How are they relevant to what we are discussing, I have no idea.

    Let’s agree that we have a different interpretation of a certain provision of the law or even the entire law itself. Pls copy paste it & cite it and tell me why that’s how it should be interpreted.

  88. says

    Roy, you are the one doing the re-writing. I never said the law applied to foreigners. I have said just the opposite.

    I have said that the statement by the prosecutor appears to show his bias toward foreigners. I also said that we have all said things that on hind sight were probably not the chosen words, and I gave him the benefit of doubt on that.

    Yes you could be charged with being in the company of Children and thus in violation of this law. I’ll say again but for the last time this law includes many things other than sexual abuse or trafficking. It also includes poverty and children in an area of armed conflict. You don’t need to tell me you only browsed the law, that is painfully obvious.

    Further, I said there appears to be common sense in the judicial system. I didn’t say that about this law. And for the record, you called it stupid. You are Filipino so you can do that.

    In no case, have I stated the law should be changed or it was a bad law. My intention is warn people that they could put themselves in jeopardy if they are in the company of children.

    I have also said that so far, this law seems to have been applied in a reasonable way, to protect children when they needed protection.

    I have no intention of trying to get you to see what the law says, I’ve done that enough. I will respond when you attribute words I didn’t say.

  89. says

    Officially the burden of proof is on the prosecutor. Further, under this law, it doesn’t matter if you did something most of us would consider that is wrong, third, by law it is wrong to be in the company of a child. If you were in the company of a child, you can be jailed. You don’t have to probe nothing happened, it is, in fact, irrelevant!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It is irrelevant regardless of the color of your skin.

    The Rules of Evidence provide that:

    Sec. 3.Disputable presumptions. — The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted, but may be contradicted and overcome by other evidence:

    (a)That a person is innocent of crime or wrong;

    REVISED RULES OF EVIDENCE
    RULE 131 RULES OF COURT

    http://www.chanrobles.com/rulesofcourtevidence.htm

  90. Atong Estrada says

    Rusty, you cannot blame me for thinking that US needed a similar law. Every time I visit Walmart, ThomTumb, Albertsons or any other establishments most often than not you’ll be greeted by posters of missing children who have disappeared years ago, who knows who abducted them. By the way, the child molesters here are of the worst kind (could anyone be evil than a child sex offender?), sometimes they kill their victim when they’re done abusing them and buried them in their backyard, probably that’s explained it why some of these children cannot be found after years of searching…

  91. Atong Estrada says

    Rusty,

    Of course there’s no denying there are Filipino pedophiles but westerners would travel half way around the world to engage in this kind of activities. Maybe pedophile Filipinos don’t need to travel since young bodies are readily accessible in their backyard? hehe

  92. says

    Atong there are Westerners that come here for that reason. I didn’t say a lot, I said it draws some. From the US it is illegal to even come here for that reason, you don’t have to succeed. I don’t hear much about that law any more, and I’ve heard of no prosecutions so it may have not been productive for the prosecution.

    It is not always a scam. There are parents selling their children for that, it is a tradition. It use to be common between Filipino. I believe it happens most often in the mountains. I first heard of this from a Kano and I wondered why he even brought it up. I didn’t respond at all. I asked Jessie about it and it is just a matter of fact to her.

    I’ve discovered that it is always wrong to apply what one knows about an area in the Philippines to the entire country.

    Six months ago Roy told me that people do not go around door to door asking for money. This baffled me because for Jessie, where she grew up it was a normal thing to do. I found out that it does happen, they showed up at my door this last Christmas but not very many people. They usually offered song but not always. I will except that you didn’t see it or know of it in your part of the Philippines but it does happen.

    Right now, the parents of the 12 year old girl that was found with Mr. Kuntz have been charged under the law for doing just that.

    [ REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9231]

    AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE ELIMINATION OF THE WORST FORMS OF CHILD LABOR AND AFFORDING STRONGER PROTECTION FOR THE WORKING CHILD, AMENDING FOR THIS PURPOSE REPUBLICT ACT NO. 7610. AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE “SPECIAL PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AGAINST CHILD’ ABUSE, EXPLOITATION AND DISCRIMINATION ACT”

    I have not read all of this law but I probably will now as I see it amends 7610. I didn’t realize that before.

    The parents of the girl claimed he was just a friend of the family and they had their permission to take her. A friend that had helped them financially.
    No, I didn’t get fooled by someone trying to offer me their daughter. I would have never gone there in the first place. There is nothing about a 12 year old that interest me in that way.

    I’ve had some that I think that were that young flirt with me and it scared me to death!

  93. says

    The stories of women scamming men do happen but they are over blown and rare. When guys try to turn bar girls into girl friends, things often go very badly for them.

    No, the girls were not under 12, one was 12. There was a 11 year old girl in the case of Rohn but also a 15 year old. In the recent case in Cebu city, the girl was 16. In that case, it is reported they had consensual sex but oddly he was charged under this law for not getting her medical aid when she complained of cramps. Perhaps they didn’t have any evidence of the sexual activity and used this law to arrest him while the obtain more evidence. In every case that I know of, except for one, additional evidence was later obtained.

    IN the case of Kuntz, no additional evidence has been made public other than a vaginal tare which isn’t very conclusive.

    The law seems to be a way to get a guy in jail and the child away from the adult while more evidence is being obtained. The prosecutor also said the law needs to be tested in the courts. That seems to imply, the lawyer/agency has some concerns about this law.

    When agencies wish to test a law, most often, they will wait for the strongest cases they can find. Loosing early on, can pull the teeth right out a law. Later, once they have precedent, the agency may try to expand the application of the law. Hopefully the court will provide additional guidance with the first cases to help define its use. This is what happens in the US. I don’t know if the same is true here. It does appear that the first step is true though, that only in situations where there is strong evidence or at least implications that more has happened.

    I have no problem with the three people in Cebu being jailed for violating this law.

  94. roy says

    Rusty,

    We agree that:

    1. the law applies to everyone;
    2. But according to you:

    Yes you could be charged with being in the company of Children and thus in violation of this law. I’ll say again but for the last time this law includes many things other than sexual abuse or trafficking. It also includes poverty and children in an area of armed conflict. You don’t need to tell me you only browsed the law, that is painfully obvious.

    Rusty, you do not need to tell that the law covers only sexual abuse, I pointed that out in my earlier comment w/c you just replied to. I just said I browsed on the law as opposed to you who read carefully the law. But then, you display your clear grasp of the law by just repeating what I just said, that i just browsed on the law. I would appreciate it more if you quote the law and demolish my position by cross-referencing the provision. But you did not.

    But still your comment above is not supported by a partcular provision which I have asked you.

    “Yes you could be charged with being in the company of Children and thus in violation of this law”

    Which law Rusty, RA 7610? I will quote again the provision which we agree that we differ in interpretation.

    Article 6, Section 10b:

    (b) Any person who shall keep or have in his company a minor, twelve (12) years or under or who in ten (10) years or more his junior in any public or private place, hotel, motel, beer joint, discotheque, cabaret, pension house, sauna or massage parlor, beach and/or other tourist resort or similar places shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its maximum period and a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000): Provided, That this provision shall not apply to any person who is related within the fourth degree of consanguinity or affinity or any bond recognized by law, local custom and tradition or acts in the performance of a social, moral or legal duty.

    I just quoted the law w/c you also rely on.

    “…..in any public or private place, hotel, motel, beer joint, discotheque, cabaret, pension house, sauna or massage parlor, beach and/or other tourist resort or similar places….”

    Ok, the last words ” similar places” should refer to the series f public places referred to such as cabaret, pension house etc etc.

    The Philippines, whether you believe or not is also patterned to the US Judicial System. Hence, we adhere to elementary rules of statutory construction.

    why do I think that McDonald’s, mall restaurants do not fall under “similar places” of public places enumerated by the law.

    Please read on.

    15) “Under the rule of ejusdem generis, when a particular class of persons or things is enumerated in a statute and general words follow, the general words are to be restricted in their meaning to a sense analogous to the less general, particular words. East Coast Freight Lines v. City of Richmond, 194 Va. 517, 525, 74 S.E.2d 283, 288 (1953); Rochingham Bureau v. Harriosnburg, 171 Va. 339, 344, 198 S.E. 908, 911, (1938). Likewise, according to the maxim noscitur a sociis (associated words) when general and specific words are grouped, the general words are limited by the specific and will be construed to embrace only objects similar in nature to those things identified by the specific words. Commonwealth v. United Airlines, 219 Va. 374, 389, 248 S.E.2d 124, 132-33 (1978); Hensley v. City of Norfolk, 216 Va. 369, 374, n.5, 218 S.E.2d 735, 740, n.5 (1975)” Wood v. Henry County Public Schools, 255 Va. 85, 495 S.E.2d 255, (1998).

    Finally, you said in your original post that:

    Again, I’m relying on my observations that the Philippine legal system still exercises common sense in most cases.

    That observation of yours is rendered moot if you insist that, borrowing your own words, “Yes you could be charged with being in the company of Children and thus in violation of this law.”

    If people follow your interpretation–like the rest here–the law is stupid because it makes its enforcement next to impossible.

    We agree that the law applies to all right, Rusty? How then can the police enforce this? Ask every adult in the company of children in “McDonald’s, ‘mall restaurants?”

    I believe that, that is not the legislative intent of the law.

  95. says

    roy – OK, so I will accept your definition of what a “public place” is. So, if there is a McDonalds which is at the beach, and you have a kid at your table whom you are talking to, then you can be arrested for that. It does specifically say that the beach is a public place, right?

  96. says

    Atong, I think you stated the US needs a law like this. The US doesn’t need a low like this.

    Most of the abductions in the US come from estranged spouses that then go into hiding. Most of them do not involve pedophiles.

    The law as it is written does not protect me if my wife is there. It makes sense that I’d be less likely to be accused by authorities if she was there too. It will be less likely, I think, even I’m on the court house steps or other non-hidden place unless one did that kind of thing a lot. Common sense may protect me, the law says I can be jailed for a long time.

  97. says

    Bob has pointed it out several times. I have pointed it out. There’s no reason to do so again. The information is already here, in several different ways.

  98. says

    Yes. I agree pedophiles do travel around the world to find children. I suppose its hard for them to give up on what use to be lax enforcement and that has changed, great, I’m glad it has.

    One of the things that draw westerners here is the dark hidden secret of the tradition of some Filipino selling their daughters at the age of 12. I’ve talked to Filipino that say this practise is accepted but there is not to be any sex with the girl until she is 18. A Westerner can’t buy what is not for sale, in these cases the Filipino is just as guilty and the parents in the Kuntz case face life in prison.

    I will accept as a percentage of the population, white guys are more likely to be pedophiles, because pedophiles are likely to travel to Asia, thinking they can get away with it here. I don’t know that’s true but it makes sense.

    Still, most children are being abused by natives, more damage is being done by natives.

  99. says

    Roy you said that I said:

    Rusty, you do not need to tell that the law covers only sexual abuse

    I said just the opposite. The law covers things other than sexual abuse.

  100. roy says

    Ha ha ha Rusty, you are not following me. My point is that what you said that the law does not cover only sexual abuse, (as if that I don’t know yet)I already did point that out in my earlier comment w/c you replied to. Anyway, I’m not gonna nitpick on who said first about what the law covers. I’m trying to limit the issue so we can limit our replies to a particular issue. The issue, my friend, is why would you think that the law covers all kinds of pu blic places like McDonals, mall restaurant?

    Again, don’t tell me that you did not say it was McDonald’s or mall restaurants. Bec right now, I will settle that by saying, yes, you did not. That takes us from discussing the real issue at hand which is your interpretation of the term “public places” in relation to Art. 6 sec. 10(b) of RA 7610.

  101. says

    Bob, you would be incorrect to agree with him. I’m far from a lawyer but I have quite a bit of training in the law, especially reading the law. Granted, American law.

    THe term used in the law is OR not and.

    ny public or private place, hotel, motel, beer joint, discotheque, cabaret, pension house, sauna or massage parlor, beach and/or other tourist resort or similar places shall

    If the law included ONLY thos places there would be an AND after public or priace place AND …..

    It applies to all public and private places.

  102. roy says

    Hi Bob, Keep in mind that Art. 6, sec 10 (b) is under the title “Other Acts of Abuse” which sec 10 provides that “Other Acts of Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty or Exploitation and Other Conditions Prejudicial to the Child’s Development.”

    You asked:
    “So, if there is a McDonalds which is at the beach, and you have a kid at your table whom you are talking to, then you can be arrested for that.”

    While McDonald’s is not the public place contemplated into by the law, it is however located in the “beach and/or other tourist resort” mentioned in the law.

    I am stumped.

    Why don’t we let Rusty answer this one. In the words of Rusty, he has “quite a bit of training in the law, especially reading the law.” So I’m sure he can enlighten us on this serious question of the applicability of the law.

    I’m interested to know how he will apply your facts (McDonald’s at the beach) in relation to Art. 6, sec 10 (b).

    But before I go, here’s another basic rule of statutory construction.

    “A statute must be construed with reference to its subject matter, the object sought to be attained, and the legislative purpose in enacting it; the provisions should receive a construction that will render it harmonious with that purpose rather than one which will defeat it.” Stanley v. Tomlin, 143 Va. 187, 195, 129 S.E. 379, 382 (1925).

    Again, this is an american precedent but believe it or not– regardless of what you think of the Judicial System in the Philippines–it also adheres to these elementary rules of interpreting laws.

  103. says

    Hi Rusty – I was accepting Roy’s definition for the sake of argument. For me, the law clearly says that it is any public or private place – in other words… any place at all.

  104. says

    Hi John – I also agree that it probably won’t come to pass that people will be charged if they are just talking to kids or that sort of thing. Because it probably would not happen, though, does not justify having a law written that way.

  105. says

    John,

    If you were in the same position I was, you might see it differently. I can’t go into it though. Perhaps someday I can. I’ve done nothing wrong. There have been other times I’ve done nothing wrong and things still went badly.

    I’ve mentioned a third case and supplied a link. I don’t believe the law was properly used in that case. The law states something like refusing medical attention when the child’s life or development would be put into danger. A man in Cebu was arrested under this law for failing to deliver medical assistance for a girl that had stomach cramps. In this case, there was good reason for the authorities to act but it appears this law was manipulated and used in a way that was not intended. For the life of me, I don’t understand why he was not arrested for rape, I feel pretty certain that he will be but that is not the issue. It is how this law was applied.

    I’m not worried too much about extortion schemes, those are way over blown. The people I know here just wouldn’t do that. They are good people.

    There is a girl here that I rejected. She has been looking for a way to get back at me, texting my friends and pretending to be me. She has a reputation as a trouble maker so her word is not good. This girl doesn’t want money, she wants me out of the country and to destroy Jessie’s and my life.

    I do agree, there is usually a girl and a bar involved when guys get them in trouble. I’ve gone to a disco a few times here. Even if you do everything like you should, trouble can still find you at places like that.

    I’ve said from the beginning that legal authorities usually include a huge dose of common sense. Its only when someone tries to tell me that there is nothing to worry about, then I take exception.

    I understand why the Philippines is trying to find ways to go after pedophiles. There is a real problem regarding that.

    I have no problem with the use of this law in the Kuntz and Rohn cases. Some foul up thinking has to be part of the thinking for a 41 year old man to take a 12 year old girl to a resort. Pedophile could likely be the motivation.

    I sure hope it never happens to me or anyone else. I’ve just had the kind of life that something being unlikely is not a reason for me to assume it will not happen to me. I’m looking at the big picture though, not just me.

    It only takes three friends to get together and make up a story to put someone in a massive legal mess.

  106. says

    I know, he kept asking me to show him why he was wrong. I used the opportunity to do so.

    That was a pretty cool rule he found, it doesn’t apply but its a note worthy effort. I’m surprised a non-lawyer could find that.

  107. roy says

    Hi Bob, I will also accept your argument for the sake of..well,..argument. :-)

    If that was the case, the law could have just said “any private place or public place” or even the simpler, all encomplassing words you used like “any place.” But the law did not do that. It instead enumerated the kind of places that puts child’s presence higly suspicious.

  108. John Miele says

    Rusty;

    I wasn’t trying to negate what you wrote. It is important that expats know about this. However, things need to be kept in perspective. Most Filipinos are not out to scam foreigners. Yet, looking at the web it is easy to get a wrong impression about the country.

    Look, I’ve met a number of people who met someone they didn’t know on the Net, came here, and threw all semblance of common sense out the window. Having traveled around the world and lived in the Middle East, I can tell you that in 90% of the countries in the world, foreigners have few, if any rights. This is not unique to the Philippines and that is just how things are. In almost every case, most people mind their own business and live their lives and encounter no problems. It is possible that you can simply be unlucky and encounter the wrong person. It happened to me before and could happen again. It is no reason to fear, though.

  109. Atong Estrada says

    “One of the things that draw westerners here is the dark hidden secret of the tradition of some Filipino selling their daughters at the age of 12.”

    Rusty, I’m sure that’s not what you meant, you can re-phrase that part of your sentence. Only a number of westerners come here to enjoy child trafficking…I’m sure vast majority of foreigners who visit Philippines have good intentions in their heart.

    And that alleged activity by some Filipinos peddling their little daughters, it’s a scam! “Hey I got a daughter, she’s only 12 years you can marry her but no sex until she’s 18. Now, give me money”

    …I’ll probably slap that Filipino story teller with my back hand for telling stories which insult one’s intelligence…

    So, did you believe his story?

  110. says

    The one girl threatened me before I got here. I can’t believe I ended up in the same city she was in. We’ve not seen her in a couple of months. I THINK she’s hooked up with a former American friend of mine who have been trying to cause me a lot of trouble. I can’t really figure out why the guy is doing that. Except he had some interest in Jessie.

    I’m not too worried about extortion schemes, if they do their research first, they’d find I’m not a good subject for that anyway. LOL

    I’m worried about someone that is just plain nuts. I have other concerns too that I can’t go into.

    I don’t have any problem with what you said, I just don’t agree with it fully. I can’t change much. I will be more weary around children now. But that’s not were my personal concern lies.

    Also some of the things I’ve read on Filipino blogs, relating to this concerns me. There seems to be some very dim views of expats out there.

    I’m b

  111. says

    No, I don’t think that part hit me. What bothers me is the reason she filed the complaint. I’d think that she was under duress.

    This 15 year old seems to be being used by a lot of people. Why did she know her parents were being grilled. Parents pressuring her? Policy pressuring her? I think it greatly discounts what she has to say but its not her fault.

    I don’t have any problem with the US Embassy assisting the Philippines with investigations involving pedophiles. That seems like it would be part of their duties. But they should be looking into the validity of the accusations and considering that they appear to have been made under less than perfect conditions.

    In any case, this new development needs exposure! But this kind of crap goes on in the USA too.

  112. says

    Hi Rusty – The way I read that article, you are in violation of the law if you are even talking to a child in any location in the Philippines. Hey, I’m all for going after anybody who is harming kids in any way. But, the language of this law is very concerning.

  113. says

    You don’t have to even talk to them.

    This law is setup so they can arrest anyone any time they want too. We’ll just have to rely on common sense.

    The prosecuting lawyer for DSWD has set the criteria he’s using FOR NOT.

    Anyone not related to but in custody of a child, especially foreigners.

    When I first used the word “alone” word on my site, that’s what I was looking at. Nothing in the law actually says that though. Barry mentioned grooming, and that’s a valid concern to prevent anything improper from happening. As Americans you and I and others may have that ingrained idea that we’d rather villains get away rather than one innocent man wrongly convicted. Children are different, require extra measures but, well, like you, I’m concerned.

  114. roy says

    Thanks Rusty. Coming from you who had “some training in law”, you don’t know how that flatters me. But what I did was nothing. Even the caveman from that geico commercial can do that. We’ve all done that–google.

    What I want to know though is why the those principles w/c I use to support my argument does not apply. But that I think is moot point. With your understanding of the law, I expect that you would limit your fraternization w/ your monkey alone. :-)

    Finally, about what you said about me negating your claims that there are people going around in the area where you stay (Bogo?) and that I was wrong since even your friend Jessie told you about it.

    That was not the context of the discussion. You were thinking of what Phil traditions to expect for the coming holidays. & accdg to you, Jessie said there’s people going around, asking for money.

    My position then is there’s no such “tradition” in the Phil like that. Does that negate what your claims about people asking for money? I don’t think so. I just want “Phil Tradition” not be associated in that practice.

  115. says

    Here are the words from that rule you found:

    Under the rule of ejusdem generis, when a particular class of persons or things is enumerated in a statute and general words follow, the general words are to be restricted in their meaning to a sense analogous to the less general,

    The key here is GENERAL WORDS. 7610 provides specific words that include private or public places. Those ar specific words that cannot be ignored and that’s what you are doing. Further, as I stated else where, the group of words says OR. If it applied only to those places it should say :

    Public or Private Place and,

    hotels, resorts or other similar places.

    There is no way you’re going to change your opinion, you’re too dug in now and admitting you’re wrong is probably a very rare thing indeed. But, you are wrong.

    Consider further the words of the DSWD lawyer that is responsible for prosecuting the case. What he laid down as his criteria was “custody of children” which would imply alone with them or in control of them. He didn’t limit it to certain places and he did target foreigners. That doesn’t mean it does not apply to Filipino, it does. They will take a much harder look at foreigners than natives however.

    I’ve said all this before. Not likely to say it again.

    I got a kick out of you pulling that non-applicable statute or court rule up because it looks like the kind of thing accountants tried to pull on me when I was a new young revenue agent. It was their job to try it, it was my job to point out that they were wrong. They already knew they were wrong. I can remember where one time, when I was very new, they tried to intimidate me with the old guy, the guy that built the firm. LOL That might have been a bit intimidating for me, but the rule they tried to use was so off the wall, it took me 15 minutes to figure out what they were trying to say. Once I did, it was funny to me.

    What you did was quite “lawerly” and I’m wondering if you are not a lawyer at this point. It was also “lawerly” BS. LOL If I was a defense lawyer, I’d sure use it.

    There was also a newspaper article that stated in the company of children. I provided the link.

    So far you’re the only person that is trying to read the law the way you are.

    I am glad you’re here, keeping us all honest. You’re just gonna love my next story about the proper way to fire ones nanny…. Probably will be out on Saturday.

  116. says

    Roy,

    There is such a tradition and I discovered its roots.

    It comes from time long ago when the community in the city was very much dependant and often related to in blood the people that lives in the hills.

    The people in the city, often called lowlanders benefited from part of the family working in the mountains. Part of this was they served as watch guards or bantayan which I learned means watch place. They had these in the Visayas because of the frequent raids of the Moro.

    At Christmas time the people from the hills came down for their rewards from the family and/or tribe that they serve.

    That’s not really needed any more but the tradition held on. It continues on strongly in Tacloban, less so here in Northern Cebu but it is tradition and nothing to be ashamed of. Its a rich history of community.

    If I remember “dan” means place so Danbantayan is a watch place. Wich is a small town just north of Bogo.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you apply traditions in Manila to the entire country you will be making a massive mistake.

    I did answer your question about why its every where. You’re just stubborn and I, of course, am not. HAHA

  117. says

    Doctor? I wish.

    Kidnapping gangs in Davao City? First I’ve heard of that. I’m no fan of Mindanao because of the kidnappings and bombs and war. I’ve not been to Davao but I’d go. I would be reluctant to live there, not because of crime but the vigilante groups and the mindset that seems to condone them concern me.

    I’m a bit confused about Davao because I know a Filipino that is not paranoid about safety and she tells me even with the crack down on crime there that it is still dangerous in Davao. She’s from there. She probably knows the areas that foreigners are not likely to visit. I don’t know, don’t know how to fit her comments in with everything else I’ve learned about Davao. She’s in Cebu City now.

    You’re not in Illinois, your in the Philippines, well your baby is.

    Other peoples DNA? Maybe being worried about the spread of H1N1 would be more of a concern. DNA can’t hurt you.

    I wouldn’t be worried about being kidnapped from a Mall, not very likely.

    Its your baby and your life but I think you’ll live a lot longer if you try to lighten up a little. You might once you get here.

  118. says

    I have found people in the US care very much about child abuse, though I don’t know where you are from.

    So far, the cases that have come to light have been good use of this law.

    I’m at significant risk of having this law misapplied too me related to a custody battle for children.

  119. says

    There is NOTHING for you to be sorry for, we are who we are. I’m paranoid enough to worry about this law being used to manipulate the legal system. This law is a bigger threat to me than the MILF. :) Hopefully that will change as my situation changes.

    You’ll lighten up after you retire and that should grow a lot once you’re here. You gotta keep an open mind but you’ve been here, so you know that.

    I hope to hear from you often.

  120. says

    Hi Andy, it is better to know about the law. Yeah, i don’t think I”d take a child into a situation like that. Even though innocent and helpful, you’re putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Because a few foreign pedophiles have put the rest of us under suspicion.

    There is a guy here in Bogo City that hangs around with kids all the time. I’ve seen him once, he rides a mini-bike. That seems kind of child like.

    I know of a second grader that said she was his girlfriend.

    It may all be perfectly innocent but the towns people are talking about it. I look for him to be arrested. It does look like the kinds of things pedophiles do but I don’t know anything about his situation. I’m certain he needs to alter his behavior.

  121. says

    Hi George,

    I’m a bit more positive about the PI than it seems you are from this one post. The Kano price is no big deal, people will get as much as they think they can, and that’s true of just about all of us. :)

    I don’t feel hunted at all. All the Filipino that I know are good people, the only expcetion I would make on that is one that lives in the USA who pulled some crap on me and my first rental here. Put me in a smaller apartment than what I was suppose to get.

    I paid too much for getting locks changed but it was still very cheap. I should have haggled with him but I didn’t feel like it. Haggling is pretty much expected.. I get things a little cheaper when I send the maids out to buy things, like rice but its not a lot cheaper.

    No one has tried to rip me off. I have good reason to be concerned about this law. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to write about it. This law could be misused in my case. The government seems to be leary of actually prosecuting under this law. Charges have been dropped against Gary Lee Rohn one of the men charged on Bantayan Island.

    The argument here was trying to get Roy to understand this law applies to all places. That was confirmed in a news papaer article this week. I wrote about that on http://heyjoe.ph

    There’s nothing i need to calm down about, the potential misuse of this law is clearly there. Its not something I’m overely worried about though. Worried yes but I’ll deal with whatever comes my way. I am a survivor.

  122. says

    Yeah the parents can get radical over little league. :) Or did you say softball, either way. :)

    I think most of the time, common sense will be applied to this law. I think estranged spouses posed the biggest threat with regards to abuse of this law.

    So far it has been used to get the kids out of the situation they are in. It allows the authorities to go in and remove the children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *