MANILA, Philippines – The European Union (EU) on Tuesday, March 28, stressed the need to tackle child pornography seriously after an official of the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) made a controversial statement about this.
"The issue of child pornography is extremely serious and a grave crime. It should be addressed in a serious and responsible manner," the Delegation of the EU to the Philippines said in a statement.
The EU did not elaborate.
The EU made this statement after DSWD Assistant Secretary Lorraine Badoy slammed the EU on Sunday, March 26, over child pornography.
In a Facebook post, Badoy sarcastically told the EU, "Iyong mga taga-EU, mag-online child porn muna kayo. D'yan naman kayo magaling e." (Those in the EU, just engage in online child pornography. Since that's what you are good at.)
Badoy made these remarks as part of a message addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte's critics, including Vice President Leni Robredo.
The EU Parliament recently issued a resolution urging the "immediate release" of Duterte's fiercest critic, detained Senator Leila de Lima, and warning that the Philippines could lose trade incentives over extrajudicial killings. (READ: FACT CHECK: Was Robredo's UN video a basis for EU warning?)
In a separate statement on Tuesday, DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo defended Badoy, saying the issue "has been twisted out of context and sensationalized."
She said that Badoy "was obviously sarcastic and under no circumstances was she advocating child pornography or making light of it."
In any case, Taguiwalo said: "We know that as government officials, we should be more circumspect and careful about what we post on social media. We always run the risk of being – deliberately or not, maliciously or not – misinterpreted. All of us in the DSWD executive committee and even our staff will take lessons from this incident." – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.