Surigao del Norte

Surigao del Norte mayor seeks more troops ahead of Senate probe into ‘cult’ activities

John Sitchon

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Surigao del Norte mayor seeks more troops ahead of Senate probe into ‘cult’ activities
The mayor of Socorro, Surigao del Norte fears violence due to agitated members of an alleged cult

CEBU, Philippines – Socorro, Surigao del Norte Mayor Riza Rafonselle Taruc-Timcang called for the deployment of more police officers and Army soldiers to her town ahead of the start of the Senate investigation into the alleged cult activities of Socorro Bayanihan Services Incorporated (SBSI).

In a statement on Monday, September 25, Timcang said there is a “real threat and imminent danger of violence” escalating in the town due to agitated members of the SBSI.

Hundreds of members of SBSI staged a demonstration in the municipality after being accused of child abuse, exploitation, forced labor, and other cult practices. 

The organization has denied these claims, which were brought up by Senator Risa Hontiveros in a privilege speech on Monday, September 18.

“Ahung gi-awhag ang Philippine National Police ug ang Armed Forces of the Philippines para sa pag-deploy og dugang pwersa alang sa pagpalapad-lapad ug kahapsay ug para sa seguridad sa tanan Socorronhon,” Timcang said. 

(I am calling upon the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to deploy additional forces to ensure peace and order and the security of every Socorronhon.)

Timcang made her appeal before the Senate conducts a hearing on the allegations against SBSI on Thursday, September 28.

She urged the leaders of SBSI to respect the rule of law and persuade their followers to do the same.

SBSI members earlier called for the Senate investigation to be done in Sitio Kapihan, Barangay Sering in Socorro town, where the organization is based. Hontiveros frowned on the SBSI call, saying its leader needs to face legislators in the Senate. –

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