Surigao del Norte

NBI uses CHR report against Socorro ‘cult,’ seeks hold departure order

Herbie Gomez

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NBI uses CHR report against Socorro ‘cult,’ seeks hold departure order

GRILLING. Jey Rence Quilario aka Senior Aguila, at the Senate public hearing on the activities of Socorro Bayanihan Services, Inc., on September 28, 2023.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

Department of Justice Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano says they anticipate a resolution from prosecutors by mid-November

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday, October 9, used the findings of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to bolster its complaint against alleged cult leader Jey Rence Quilario and a dozen others in Surigao del Norte.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano said on Tuesday, October 10, the NBI had submitted the CHR findings to prosecutors as additional evidence against the leaders and members of Socorro Bayanihan Services Incorporated (SBSI).

Clavano also said the NBI urged prosecutors to seek a Precautionary Hold Departure Order against Quilario’s group through the court.

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In June, the NBI filed complaints against Quilario’s group for violations of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, practicing child marriage, child abuse, and exploitation.

Aside from the 22-year-old Quilario, who is also known to his followers as “Señor Aguila,” authorities filed complaints against the following:

  • former Socorro town Mayor Mamerto Galanida
  • Karen Sanico
  • Janeth Ajoc
  • Wenefredo Buntad
  • Giovanni Lasala
  • Ibrahim Adlao
  • Jovelito Atchecoso
  • Sergio Cubillan
  • Daryl Buntad
  • Jonry Elandag
  • Yure Gary Portilio
  • Florencio Quiban

“The NBI adopted the results of the CHR investigation and submitted them as additional evidence against the group,” Clavano told Rappler.

He said they were anticipating a resolution from prosecutors by mid-November.

On Monday, Quilario’s group appeared before DOJ prosecutors during a clarificatory hearing.

In a press statement, the DOJ announced that the next hearing is scheduled on October 20. 

In the next hearing, prosecutors expect supplemental counter-affidavits to be filed and presentations of opposition to the motion for a Precautionary Hold Departure Order, the DOJ said in a statement.

Quilario, who is regarded as the Santo Niño (Child Jesus) by his followers, and his group, gained notoriety after Senator Risa Hontiveros exposed their alleged abuses and cult practices in Sitio Kapihan, Barangay Sering, Socorro town in Surigao del Norte.

During a Senate committee hearing, Quilario and his associates denied the accusations of being a cult and abusing their members.

Senators cited them for contempt and ordered their detention in a Senate facility. – Rappler.com

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