DOJ: Preliminary investigation into alleged Socorro cult to be held in Manila
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday maintained that the preliminary investigation into complaints of trafficking and abuse of minors hounding members of the alleged cult Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. (SBSI) will be held in Manila.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla made the pronouncement during a press briefing, as the SBSI insisted that they do not have funds to travel to the DOJ’s main building in Manila.
To recall, a complaint has already been filed against leaders of the alleged religious “cult” Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Surigao del Norte for alleged violation of qualified trafficking, kidnapping, and serious illegal detention, the Act Prohibiting the Practice of Child Marriage, and the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination.
“The process is we conduct a [preliminary investigation] here, we call everybody here. If they don’t want to come, it’s their problem, not my problem,” said Remulla.
“That’s their problem, ‘yung mga victims pwede naming gastusan,” he added.
According to Remulla, eight cases are expected to be filed against the suspects, with victims expected to arrive on September 27 to attend a Senate inquiry on the allegations against SBSI.
The preliminary investigation will then be on Friday, September 29.