Philippines: Typhoon orphans abducted for sex slavery

Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos continue to suffer deprivation, "just like Jesus and his parents, struggling to survive in the rubble caused by the worst typhoon that ever hit the Philippines. It will be a difficult Christmas, marked by hunger and suffering for the refugees camped under makeshift tents or plastic sheeting." So said Fr. Shay Cullen, a Catholic priest from Ireland who is the founder of - a nonprofit that is dedicated to the welfare of children. Known for his commitment to the people of The Philippines, Fr. Cullen has been in-country since 1969. 
Typhoon Hayian, which struck the island nation on November 8, was especially devastating in Leyte province. Some 5,000 people died as a direct result of the storm that left thousands homeless and impoverished. Said Fr. Cullen, "In addition to wind, rain and devastation, now comes another storm: that of human exploitation and trafficking of children, who are in the sights of unscrupulous traffickers," said the Irish missionary. On a recent visit to The Philippines, Secretary of State John Kerry pledged that the U.S. would provide an additional $25 million in aid. The cost of reconstruction is expected to exceed $8.2 billion.
Fr. Cullen is leading a rescue team in Leyte. He is especially concerned about criminals who are abducting children for the international sex trade. "You can see posters showing photos of children between 3 to 15 years of age who have mysteriously disappeared, probably kidnapped and sold. Five children have been rescued by social workers: they had been lured by traffickers. These were foreigners who said they wanted to bring them in Manila: it was probably for the purpose of sexual exploitation", said the priest.
"More than one million children are victims of prostitution and sexual exploitation, and will spend a terrible Christmas in the Philippines", continued Fr. Cullen. It is especially at Christmastide that he feels it is necessary to proclaim "the human rights of the poor and oppressed, the hungry."
"Christmas is a symbol of life and friendship. It is a time to strengthen our spiritual values, reflecting on the mystery of life, renewing our faith and finding our strength to act to save the exploited, the abused and those who are hungry."

Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.


Attorney General Eric Holder has feisty encounter with Republican congressman

Attorney General Holder claims he has 'vast amounts' of discretion in enforcing federal law. He was dismissive of Republicans' questioning on Capitol Hill.

Fort Hood shooter is dead

At least one person is dead and 14 wounded in the April 2 shooting at Ft Hood TX. This is the same military installation where a terrorist attack claimed the lives of 13 in 2009.

That Tell-Tale Heart: Questions to ask in cases of comatose patients

Proponents of organ donations have played fast and loose with the defintion of death in order to advance their goals. Obamacare may have irrevocably changed the physician/patient relationship, thus encouraging euthanasia.

Titanic survivors recall previously unknown gruesome details

Two sisters recount seeing 'Titanic' officers chopping off the hands of survivors grasping at lifeboats.

This page took 0.1289seconds to load