MANILA, Philippines -- The head of "Ang Dating Daan" religious group, Eliseo "Ely" Soriano, who has been charged with raping a male follower in Pampanga, posted P240,000 bail at the Manila Regional Trial Court Saturday after he apparently surrendered to a police officer in Pandacan.
The P240,000 recommended bail for two counts of rape was paid by Soriano's representative, identified only as Rolando, at the sala of Judge Silvino Pampilo Jr., the Saturday duty judge, past noon.
The Manila RTC judge issued an order of release afterward.
The controversial Church of God International supreme head was indicted on rape charges at the regional trial court of Macabebe, Pampanga, following a complaint filed by Dating Daan's assistant secretary general that he was sexually assaulted in Apalit, Pampanga.
Soriano allegedly "took advantage of his moral ascendancy and/or influence" to direct his subordinate to come into his room, massage him and have anal intercourse, around 1:30 p.m. of May 17, 2000.
The case information said the sexual acts were done "against the will and consent, and to the damage and prejudice" of the complainant, who was also a religious.
In November 2006, a warrant for Soriano's arrest was issued by Judge Lucina Dayaon of the Macabebe RTC Branch 54.
Initial reports said the church head was arrested in Pandacan on Saturday, but Station 10 jailer Jun Gumaru claimed that the accused "surrendered" to him earlier at the Manila City Hall to avoid being apprehended.
"He was not into hiding, and he was not arrested," Gumaru said.