DOJ files criminal raps vs Socorro Bayanihan members

DOJ files criminal raps vs Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. members

/ 08:06 PM November 06, 2023

DOJ files criminal raps vs Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. members

Department of Justice | PHOTO: file photo / NOY MORCOSO

MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed criminal charges before the Surigao court against members of the Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. (SBSI).

Facing cases for Qualified Trafficking in Persons, Facilitation of Child Marriage, Solemnization of Child Marriage and Child Abuse are Jey Rence Quilario, alias “Senior Agila,” and 12 others.


“We have 21 cases filed for qualified trafficking in person, facilitation of child marriages and solemnization of child marriages and child abuse. This is just the beginning dahil marami pang angles ang tinitingnan dito (since there are still many angles being looked at),” Remulla told reporters in a briefing late afternoon Monday.


“All from Sitio Kapihan, Socorro, Surigao del Norte. Kasama si Senior Agila at marami pang iba,” he added as to the individuals charged.

Remulla said the filing of the cases before the local court is a temporary one since the prosecution will move for its transfer to Metro Manila or other venues.

“Preliminary filed in Surigao because we believed it should be transferred to Manila or other venues where the interest of justice will not be affected by people who might interfere with the process,” he said, without saying who are the others named in the case.

The DOJ earlier said they opted to transfer the venue for the cases since there have been multiple inhibitions of local prosecutors in the province.

He said they have already formed a panel of prosecutors to handle the cases.


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

Remulla said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still pursuing its investigation on the case.
Last month, the NBI asked the DOJ to issue precautionary hold departure orders (PHDO) against Quilario and several officials of SBSI.

The allegations against SBSI were initially brought to light by Sen.Riza Hontiveros who in a privilege speech narrated the alleged abuses committed against the group’s members, particularly minors, including sexual abuse and forced marriages, since 2019.

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The NBI in June recommended charging Quilario and several other SBSI officers and members, namely Galanida, Sanico, Wenefredo Buntad, Giovanni Leogin Lasala, Ibrahim Adlao, Jovelito Atchecoso, Sergio Cubillan, Daryl Buntad, Jonry Elandag, Florencio Quiban, and Gary Portillo with qualified trafficking under Republic Act No. 9208 (Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003), violation of RA 7610 (Anti-Child Abuse Law), kidnapping, and serious illegal detention.

The group denied the allegations.

TAGS: Bayanihan, criminal, DoJ

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