61-year-old William Anthony Paul Becket was arrested by police in Cebu City on Friday evening, Nov. 8, 2019. The British national was living with two minor boys, age six and 16. Hence, “Cebu City Brit Living with 2 Minor Boys Arrested” is today’s post which focuses on Republic Act 7610.
Unlawful to be in Company of Minors
Furthermore, Act 7610 is the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act. Section 10 (b) of RA 7610 prohibits any person to be in the company of “a minor, 12 years or under or who is 10 years or more his junior in any public or private place, hotel, motel, beer joint, discotheque, cabaret, pension house, sauna or massage parlor, beach and/or other tourist resort or similar places.”
“Unusual” Living Arrangement
The British citizen’s condominium unit is in Barangay Hipodromo, Cebu City. He had been under investigation for a year. Reports of his “unusual” living arrangement had reached the Children Protection Desk of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO.)
Police discovered three laptops, three computer tablets, a personal computer, and three cellphones inside the condominium.
Cebu City Brit Living with 2 Minor Boys Arrested
Authorities also found a picture of Becket and the two minors who are cousins, P300 in cash, massage oil, passport, and birth certificate. A letter from the boys’ parents, who consented to having their sons live with the foreigner, was also uncovered.
“Even though the parents gave their consent, it doesn’t mean the suspect cannot be held liable,” according to Police Lieutenant Erlinda Ma-yam, chief of the Women and Children Protection Desk of CCPO.
Because of the letter’s discovery, police will also investigate the boys’ parents who live in Mandaue City.
Brit Facing Numerous Charges
“All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” borrowing from COPS.
While massage oil was found and the fact the two boys were shirtless when police arrived may indicate inappropriate behavior, the Brit will still have his day in court. However, in the Philippines the man may find himself in jail for years while awaiting trial.
In addition to violating Republic Act 7610, Becket will face a case for allegedly violating Republic Act (RA) 9208, or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, and RA 10364, or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.
Furthermore, at least six children were constantly invited by Becket inside his unit. Some of these children were reportedly sent to school with Becket’s money, according to Mayam.