Senate starts probe into alleged religious cult in Surigao del Norte | Inquirer News

Senate starts probe into alleged religious cult in Surigao del Norte

/ 09:18 AM September 28, 2023

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MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Thursday began its inquiry into the alleged religious cult in Surigao del Norte, reportedly subjecting its members to sexual violence, forced marriage, and forced labor.

The probe by the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs joint with the committee women, children, family relations and gender equality, was prompted by Senator Risa Hontiveros’ privilege speech and two separate resolutions that she and Senator Ronaldo “Bato” dela Rosa had filed.


Hontiveros heads the committee on women, while Dela Rosa is leading the public order panel.


In her speech, Hontiveros said the reported cult called Socorro Bayanihan Services, Inc. (SBSI) is a people’s organization headed by a certain Jey Rence Quilario, alias Senior Aguila.

According to Hontiveros, SBSI has 3,560 members, including 1,587 children. It is based in a mountain known as Sitio Kapihan in Socorro, Surigao del Norte.

Meanwhile, Hontiveros specifically stressed in her resolution the need to look into the allegations of systematic rape, sexual abuse, forced marriage, and other cult-like activities among members of SBSI.

Dela Rosa’s resolution, on the other hand, aims to investigate the alleged operation of a shabu laboratory and the reported presence of a heavily armed group in Sitio Kapihan dubbed as “Agila.”

A quick look into the hearing brief shows that the joint panels seek to discuss the following:

  • History of Socorro Bayanihan Services, Inc.
  • Socorro Bayanihan Services, Inc.’s potential legal violations
  • Measures taken by the authorities to address the issue
  • Potential charges against the Socorro Bayanihan Services, Inc. and leadership
  • Possible misuse of 4Ps cash benefits


Hontiveros raises plight of children victimized by cult in Surigao del Norte

Senators seek probe into alleged cult targeting minors in Surigao

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TAGS: Probe, Senate, Surigao del Norte religious cult

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