Child abusers inhabit the earth. There are hundreds of millions of child victims. One in every four children are said to be victims of sexual abuse. It may be a secret crime but it is very common. In Ireland, a group of victim–survivors name their charity One-in-Four to emphasize this horrific statistics. The victims are as young as three to 17 years old, vulnerable and dominated by adults. They are afraid to divulge the horrific experience and are threatened not to reveal, not to run and tell. In Preda, the youngest victim is five years old.
But those who have the courage to tell their supportive parent, their teacher or a trusted adult can get help and their abusers can be brought to justice. Protecting these vulnerable children and taking legal action against their rapists is a risky and dangerous work. Preda brings the abusers to justice. The guiltiest suspect will likely retaliate against the child protector and make a malicious baseless counter-allegation in order to harass and use it as a bargaining chip.
It is no easy life for children’s rights advocates and human rights workers. Some twenty years ago we at the Preda child protection agency rescued a little six-year -old child, (call her Angie), from Ron P. whom she accused of abusing her ten times in their house where he was a houseboy.
Government social workers in The Philippines referred her for help to the Preda social workers and they accepted her into care at the children’s home and protected her from being abused again by Ron P. He is the son of her father’s best friend. The father of Angie, call him Mr. E, instead of pursuing a legal case against Ron. P, the abuser, protected him and maliciously sued us for kidnapping the child. We strongly denied that false accusation, and then Mr. E, a U.S. national, used that denial to make many more false allegations in court against us for libel.
When we at the Preda’s home for abused children initiated charges of sexual abuse against the suspect Ron P., it was Mr. E, the adopting father of Angie, who defended Ron P., her abuser. Mr. E, then with others, manufactured false evidence and made a baseless accusation blaming us for the abuse of Angie. The child’s allegations of sexual abuse against Ron. P were ignored.
The false accusation against us was later completely investigated and the so-called evidence was shown to be lies, manufactured and false and the case was dismissed outright. We were exonerated and cleared of all wrongdoing. It was ruled to be a fake and baseless malicious prosecution. That same Mr. E was later convicted of maliciously filing a case against the prosecutor who brought charges against Ron P., the real sexual abuser of the 6-year-old Angie.
Our accuser, Mr. E is a member of the foreign gang of sex-mafia, some are likely child abusers of various nationalities. They have continued to spread the false allegations over the internet until the present but no one believes them. Preda’s continued criticism of the sex-mafia members running the bars and clubs of the sex-tourist industry irritates them and the authorities who give them permits to operate.
Many sex bars are run mostly by foreigners and one of their gang Mr. AB is on trial after Preda organized a rescue of minors in his sex bar named Avila’s, also called the Crow Bar. His discrepant sex-tourist cronies and Mr. E show up at his trial hearings in Olongapo City. They support him and his vile behavior and business abusing children.
They are led by Mr. E who tried to destroy our reputation but failed miserably, I am happy to say. Who would believe a bunch of foreign sex tourists? The work of Preda defending human rights and protecting children continues all the more to be recognized and receive international awards. The latest being a fourth nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, a great honor. Later this year, another international award will be made to Preda. The more we are harassed and receive threats, the stronger our reputation grows.
That is the occupational hazard endured by human rights defenders. There are hundreds if not thousands of human rights workers jailed and on trial for crimes they never committed. Those doing good protecting human rights as best they can will surely be persecuted as Jesus of Nazareth was. He was wrongly accused many times after he defended children and declared them the most important of all in the world. When he supported and championed exploited women and gave them dignity, he was verbally attacked.
He said if we follow him, we would be persecuted and falsely accused. We are to be happy, he said, because we then know we are making a real impact against evil. In the end, his accusers had to frame him up on false allegations, manufactured evidence and had him jailed, tortured and sentenced to the death penalty.
Senator Leila De Lima, former Secretary of Justice and strong critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, is in jail falsely accused for drug trafficking based on fake testimony supplied by convicted drug traffickers who have no credibility. They can get favors and allowed to stay alive in the prison so long as they say what the government wants them to say against her. She is persecuted for her stand for human rights.
So if you get an email directing you to a blog that is making false accusations against us defenders of children’s rights, you will know it is the sex mafia trying to get revenge and trying to silence us from speaking out against child abuse, sex tourism and human trafficking. That is their business. Yet we stand strong against it with the help and support of thousands of dedicated child protectors and human rights defenders. Justice and truth will prevail.
Rev. Shay Cullen is a co-founder of www.preda.org -- a nonprofit dedicated to the protection of children.