Alleged Socorro 'cult' leader faces DOJ prosecutors during hearing

Alleged Socorro ‘cult’ leader faces DOJ prosecutors during clarificatory hearing

/ 05:18 PM October 09, 2023

Alleged Socorro 'cult' leader faces DOJ prosecutors during hearing

The leader of the Surigao del Norte-based organization Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. (SBSI) Jey Rence Quilario, alias Senior Agila, faces the Senate committees on women and children, and public order and dangerous drugs in this file photo taken on Sept. 28, 2023. (Photo from a Senate live stream)

MANILA, Philippines – The head of the Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. (SBSI), Jey Rence Quilario or Senior Agila, faced the prosecutors from the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a clarificatory hearing Monday on complaints of abuses allegedly committed by his group.

Aside from Quilario, Mamerto Galanida also attended the clarificatory hearing.


“Ang process diyan, kailangan muna nila [prosecutors] i-clarify yung ibang issues. They have to get certian facts straight para maayos yung preliminary investigation,” Assistant Secretary and DOJ Spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano told reporters in a phone patch interview.


(The process there, prosecutors need to first clarify some issues. They have to get certain facts straight to properly conduct the preliminary investigation.)

Several complaints are pending against leaders of SBSI, accused of being a cult. In June 2023, complaints for qualified trafficking, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and violation of Republic Act 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse law were filed against Quilario and 12 others before the Surigao City Prosecutors Office.

Also, in June, a separate complaint for adultery against another SBSI member and a complaint for Obstruction of Justice was filed against one of its lawyers.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) also filed a separate complaint against SBSI leaders.

During Monday’s clarificatory hearing, the NBI submitted additional evidence and filed a motion seeking a precautionary hold departure order against Quilario and the other respondents

Preliminary investigations related to the Socorro group will be conducted in Manila.


READ: DOJ: Preliminary investigation into alleged Socorro cult to be held in Manila

“All cases pending or subsequent will be heard in Manila,” Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said in a text message.

READ: 5 of 10 raps filed vs alleged Surigao del Norte cult members junked

On Monday, aside from SBSI officials, the complainants also appeared before the prosecutors for a clarificatory hearing.

First to answer questions are the complainants, mostly minors, followed by the respondents led by Quilario.

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A subsequent hearing is set for Oct. 20, during which the panel of prosecutors anticipates the submission of counter-affidavits as well as opposition to a precautionary hold departure order.

TAGS: cult, cult leader, DoJ, hearing, prosecutors

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