Leader, 12 members of Socorro cult facing criminal raps — DOJ
Leader, 12 members of Socorro cult facing criminal raps — DOJ
Leader, 12 members of Socorro cult facing criminal raps — DOJ
by Ellicia Del Mundo20 September 2023
Photo courtesy: Senator Risa Hontiveros Facebook page

Criminal complaints were filed earlier against the leader and 12 members of the alleged cult, Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. (SBSI), in the Municipality of Socorro in Surigao Del Norte, the Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed on Tuesday, September 19.

In a media briefing, DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano said criminal charges such as human trafficking, kidnapping and serious detention, violation of the prohibition of child marriage, and special protection of children against abuse were filed against the cult leader, Jey Rence Quilario or also called Senior Aguila, before the provincial prosecutors' office in June 2019.

Twelve other SBSI members also faced the same complaints.

However, the DOJ spokesperson said there were a series of motions to inhibit the prosecutors of the cases.


"So as per our information, wala pang preliminary investigation na nangyayari kasi pinapa-inhibit ang mga prosecutors. Ngayon titingnan natin kung ano ang rason bakit sila pina-inhbit," Clavano said.

"Ngayon tinitingnan natin yung rason kung bakit sila pinapa-inhibit at rason bakit sila nag-inhibit or ginrant yung motion to inhibit," he added.

Clavano said they are now looking at the possibility of transferring the cases to the justice department.

“Now that it has reached the level of national importance, it is ripe to be transferred already," he said.


Meanwhile, DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin 'Boying' Remulla said he tasked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to probe the reported incidents.

"Idedemanda natin ang dapat idemanda upang sila ay managot sa batas," he said.

The SBSI leader and members may face charges for sex trafficking, qualified human trafficking, and violation of Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children (OSAEC), according to Remulla.

On Monday, Senator Risa Hontiveros revealed that more than 1,000 minor children, who are said to be members of a cult, were allegedly sexually abused and forced to marry adult men.


She said the cult leader tolerated the horrific acts and he abused some of the underage children.

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