‘Rescued’ woman back in cult leader’s villa

By: Peter L. Romanillos April 22,2014 - 06:24 AM

Cult leader “Dios Amahan” Casiano Apduhan escorted by NBI and SWAT after being arrested in his residence in Balamban. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

The 34-year-old woman who was allegedly detained in the house of suspected cult leader Casiano Apduhan Jr. returned to the villa where she was rescued by authorities last month in Balamban town, Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said yesterday.

She said Emma Bocabal’s return to the villa could be used by the camp of Apduhan or “Tatay Loloy” to disprove the charges of serious illegal detention pending against him in court.

“Of course, we are worried because with the mere desire (of Emma Bocabal) to go back to the villa, there is no illegal detention in that,” she told reporters.

Magpale said she received reports that Bocabal is visiting Apduhan at the Toledo City Jail.

Apduhan, known to his followers as “Dios Amahan,” also faces a murder charge for the death of a 14-year-old boy whose remains were unearthed in a tunnel under his house in Balamban.

Even without an affidavit from Bocabal, prosecutors found basis to elevate the charges against Apduhan to the Regional Trial Court.

Prosecuotrs dismissed the charges against Apduhan’s driver, Victor Fajardo, due to “insufficient evidence.””

‘Holy virgin’

Magpale met with the technical working group of the Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-7) to plan their next step.

Bocabal’s family attended the closed-door meeting.

Magpale said one of Emma’s sisters said Emma was led by Apduhan to believe she was a “balaang babaye” (Holy Virgin).

She said the family has been torn apart by the case, adding that another sister of Emma filed a writ of habeas corpus in court to force her release from government custody.

“One of Emma’s sisters filed a petition for habeas corpus. These are the people who complained about why Emma was rescued,” Magpale said.

The vice governor said she heard reports that this sister was a follower of the Dios Amahan group.

She said results of Bocabal’s psychological and physical tests are available but refused to discuss them because the cases are still pending in court.

NBI and the PWC raided Apduhan’s house last March 26 after receiving a complaint from Bocabal’s mother.

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