Philippines: A number of secret Facebook groups, many of which are named with religious overtones, have been exposed for illicitly sharing obscene photos of women among members.

A group named “Catcalled in the Philippines,” which has been monitoring the activities.

“Pag-uusapan nila kung anong gusto nilang gawin sa babae…yun talagang pinakamasama na pwede mong gawin sa babae, sa ganung’ kontexto, sasabihin nila, it doesn’t matter kung bata ‘yung girl,” Koko Rodriguez, who has been monitoring the secret groups, said in an interview.

The secret groups often bear names such as “Pastor Hokage Bible Study,” with members using terms such as “Amen” to express their affirmation over the illicit posts. “In-appropriate na naman nila ‘yung religious na term for their own perverted end… it’s like ‘we agree’ or ‘we’re with you,'” Rodriguez said. To be accepted as a ‘pastor’ or a member, a new user must present an “ambag” — their collection of illicit photos.

Last week, an online feature on Esquire Philippines titled “The Dark Side of Filipino Facebook” revealed that some of the groups circulate child pornography and revenge porn. Membership of the secret Facebook groups range from 9,000 to 2 million.

The National Bureau for Investigation warned members of such groups could be liable for violating child pornography and anti-voyeurism laws.

“Well, minors plus child pornography, mabigat ang penalty diyan, plus ngayon kung babae naman nakahubad without their consent, pwede silang mag-reklamo for anti-photo and video voyeurism na violation,” NBI-Cybercrime chief Atty. Martini Cruz said.

Facebook said in a message it plans to take immediate action as the groups’ “nudity and sexual exploitation” activities are against the social network’s community standards.

“We take swift action to remove this content when we’re made aware of it, and where appropriate, refer it to law enforcement. “The NBI and Facebook encourage victims and netizens to report similar activities.