Letter: Child sex crimes

Sir: Philip Sweeney's sympathetic treatment of convicted paedophiles in the Philippines (The Independent Magazine, 17 April) missed out the most important thing of all - the compelling evidence from the child victims themselves.

Had Philip taken the time to visit the Preda Children's Home when he was investigating the Olongapo paedophile sex bars, he could have talked to some of the 46 child victims in therapeutic recovery, ages ranging from six to 16.

Labelling the 20 Preda staffers who care for these child victims as part of a "coalition of paedophile vigilantes", is trite and unjust. Stating that we moved to have judges dismissed for failing to convict is untrue.

Michael Clarke was found guilty of violating Republic Act 7610. This law makes it a crime to offer minors for prostitution. The court found the ITN video of Clarke allegedly making such offers compelling evidence, as well as a poster he had made advertising sex orgies and more besides.

The allegation that I "condemn opponents by association and exaggeration", and the insinuation that we cut corners and bend the rules, in helping the children to bring their cases to court is baseless.

Philip Sweeney also failed to note that we vigorously campaign against the death penalty, which causes more heinous crimes against children and prevents nothing.

Had he spent more time with the official record and less in the kiddie sex clubs he would have enlightened and informed your readers and done justice to the children, who are the forgotten victims in his story.


Preda Foundation

Olongapo City