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Over 1,000 minors allegedly abused sexually in a cult in Socorro - Hontiveros
Over 1,000 minors allegedly abused sexually in a cult in Socorro - Hontiveros
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Over 1,000 minors allegedly abused sexually in a cult in Socorro - Hontiveros
by Ellicia Del Mundo19 September 2023
Photo courtesy: Senate Facebook page

More than 1,000 minor children, who are believed to be members of a cult, were allegedly sexually abused and forced into marriages in the Municipality of Socorro in Surigao Del Norte, Senator Risa Hontiveros revealed on Monday, September 18.

During the Senate plenary session, Hontiveros said her team's research found that the alleged perpetrator was Jey Rence Quilario, also called Senior Aguila, who is the leader of the cult group Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc.

"Nagsimula ang kulto sa 17-taong-gulang na bata na ginroom para susunod 'di umano na tagapagligtas. Kinumbinsi ng leader ng organisasyon na itong si Jey Rence Quilario ang maging lider ng Socorro Bayanihan Services dahil siya ang susunod na Messiah. Siya ang bagong hesus at siya daw ang magliligtas sa kanila," she said.

After receiving a script and lessons on public speaking, the Senator said Quilario declared he was the "reincarnation" of Senior Santo Niño.

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The cult leader successfully compelled the Soccoro Bayanihan Services Inc.'s members to relocate to the mountain, known as Sitio Kapihan, which caused a drastic drop in enrollment and employment in the municipality, according to Hontiveros.

She said the "harrowing tales of abuse" occurred on the top of the mountain.

The Senator then presented videos of some victims who testified how they were forced to have sexual intercourse and marry adult men within the group.

Hontiveros said Quilario tolerated the horrific acts and he himself abused some of the underage children.

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The Senator said the Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. is fully armed and is funded by various resources.

She said a huge chunk of the cult's fund was drug money while the remaining came from members who are beneficiaries of the government assistance programs like Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD), Assistance to Individuals In Crisis Situations (AICS), and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

Hontiveros then appealed to her fellow lawmakers in Senate to immediately act on the case.

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"We need to save those children. It is our duty, not as Senators, but also as a parent, to save children most need in of our help. We managed to raise the age of sexual consent. We passed the law of penalizing child marriage. We strengthen the protection against child trafficking," she called.

"Time is of the essence, we must not look away," Hontiveros added.

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