Thursday, May 15, 2008

The scourge of child pornography

CHILD pornography is here—and quite for some time now. While everybody is busy brawling about the anomalies of this government that is doubly busy, too, doing a wag-the-dog to distract the populace from falling further into the pit of dismay, child porn producers are busy prowling the streets for more and more victims.

Optical Media Board chief Edu Manzano reports of kids (who should be attending kindergarten but are not because their parents are either busy queuing up for a square meal of rice or selling their kidney for a day of opulence) who are brought by their very own mothers to pose as “talents” in a porno film of sorts. Disgust is a very mild reaction to seeing a 4 or 6 year old forced to do a sexual deviance that normal couple would not even dare. While adult pornography is bad enough, child pornography is indescribably worse.

It is the market, which no longer hides in the closets but even shouts in Quiapo and in malls, that dictates the course of child pornography. And while it is presently getting insatiable, the producers will be there to fill the “need”. Reports have it that it only takes Ten Thousand US Dollars for foreigners to produce a full-length child porn film. And parents of child porn talents go home seemingly well compensated with Forty Thousand Pesos after all is done.

It is cold. It is silent. It is devastating.

In a pastoral letter entitled “Welcoming Them for My Sake”, issued in 1998, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), says: “Our voices cannot be loud enough, our words strong enough to condemn this evil among us. The cries of abused children reach up to the God of justice in a call for vengeance. We know that their lament invokes compassion from the God of Love…And to those who inflict pain and wound the innocent, our Lord has harsh words: ‘it is better for anyone who leads astray one of these little ones who believe in me, to be drowned by a millstone around his neck in the depths of the sea.’ (Mt. 18:160).

The blight of child pornography may be traced mainly to poverty—the kind of poverty that has emboldened unprincipled producers, business and pedophiles. But the evil of destroying our very own children simply transcends the social impact of poverty. Virginia, there is really more to it than just the exigency of an empty wallet.

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