Grave threats delayed case vs. alleged Surigao del Norte cult, says DOJ
MANILA, Philippines — Grave threats hindered the progress of a previous case filed against an alleged sex cult in Socorro, Surigao del Norte, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said on Monday, Sept. 25.
In June, several charges were filed in the local prosecutor’s office against members of the group called Socorro Bayanihan Services Incorporated.
However, the cases had remained pending.
Remulla said Department of Justice (DOJ) must now act.
“The reason that we are stepping in is (because) the people there are unable to function properly, due to several threats and intimidation, and other things that are happening there,” Remulla said in an interview on The Source.
“That is why we are stepping in here in Manila,” he explained.
Aside from the threats, Remulla said lack of cooperation from potential witnesses was also an obstacle.
The DOJ secretary said he could not elaborate any further.
“The details of the complaint, I cannot really speak about that. But what I can say (is), we have to investigate as the DOJ here, because it is what the circumstances demand of us,” he said.
He rebuffed some allegations from alleged cult members who said the investigation was unfair.
“Kaya yung impartial, unfair. Kalokohan iyan. Ang sa amin po, sa DOJ, ang kakampi namin ang biktima,” he said.
(That impartiality, that is unfair. That is foolishness. For us, at DOJ, we side with the victim.)
Socorro Bayanihan Services Incorporated is said to be a sex cult based on a mountain in Sitio Kapihan, Barangay Sering in Socorro town.
It is reportedly a religious cult engaging in disturbing practices of child rape, sexual abuse, forced labor and marriages to children as young as 12 years old.
Eight kids had escaped from the group.
NBI filed complaints with DOJ three months ago.
The charges against the group included qualified trafficking, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, violation of child marriage law and violation of child abuse law.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.