Socorro cult ex-member confirms alleged sexual abuse, forced marriages
Socorro cult ex-member confirms alleged sexual abuse, forced marriages
Socorro cult ex-member confirms alleged sexual abuse, forced marriages
by Ellicia Del Mundo20 September 2023
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A former member of the alleged cult group, Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. (SBSI), in Surigao Del Norte confirmed the reported sexual abuse, forced marriages, and other violent acts against underage children.

Interviewed during DZRH's Dos Por Dos, Lovely Savandal said minor girls, including her 13-year-old sister, were forced to marry and have sexual intercourse with men within the cult.

She said these acts was upon the instruction of cult leader, Jey Rence Quilario also known by his nickname Senior Aguila.

"Iyak siya nang iyak, one month niyang hindi binigay sa lalaki ang pagkakababae niya. Hindi niya matanggap, pero sinabi ng parents namin na ibigay na [ang pagkababae] kasi ayun ang utos," Savandal said.


"Palagi nang pinapatawag ni Senior Aguila, pinapagalitan kasi hindi niya tinutupad ang tungkulin na isip asawa siya ng lalaki," she added.

According to the former member, minor girls were also forced to live in the cult leader's house where they also experienced sexual abuse.

"Hindi ko pinatira ang kapatid ko doon. Pinapatawag lang siya ni Senior Aguila, pinapagalitan kasi hindi pa niya binibigay ang pagkababae niya. Binigyan siya ng gamot. Sabi pampa-ubra na pampataas ng libido para maibigay na niya," she said.

Aside from sexual abuses and forced marriages, Savandal said all SBSI members — from children to adults — have undergone "military training" and were compelled to have a "blood compact" as an initiation.


They were also made to believe that "end of the world" is coming which was why they resigned from their day jobs and relocate to the mountain known as Sitio Kapihan.

She said that they were not allowed to leave the community and disclose any information because if they did, they would be persecuted.

The former member said she and her family managed to escape Sitio Kapihan in 2022, and they are now staying in a city in the province.

"Muntik nang mahuli ang anak ko. May mga dalang armas ang mga humabol sa amin. May dala ring mahahabang sundang," she recalled.


Senator Risa Hontiveros first revealed that there is an alleged cult in the Municipality of Socorro in Surigao Del Norte.

In her privilege speech Monday, She said over 1,000 minors, who are believed to be SBSI members, are crying for help due to the "harrowing tales of abuse" such as alleged rape, sexual violence, child labor, and forced marriage.

Hontiveros has called on the Senate Committee on Women, children, family relations, and gender equality to probe the alarming reports.

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed that criminal complaints were filed against the leader and 12 members before the provincial prosecutors' office in June 2019.


The criminal charges include human trafficking, kidnapping, serious detention, violation of the prohibition of child marriage, and special protection of children against abuse.

DOJ Secretary Remulla said they are also eyeing to charge the cult leader and members for sex trafficking, qualified human trafficking, and violation of Anti-Online Sexual Abuse or Exploitation of Children (OSAEC).

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