Alleged Socorro ‘cult’ leader faces DOJ prosecutors during clarificatory hearing

By: Tetch Torres-Tupas - | October 09,2023 - 09:35 PM

Alleged Socorro 'cult' leader Jey Rence Quilario faces DOJ prosecutors during a clarificatory hearing.

The leader of the Surigao del Norte-based organization Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. (SBSI) Jey Rence Quilario, alias Senior Agila, faces the Senate committees on women and children, and public order and dangerous drugs in this file photo taken on September 28, 2023. Quilario also faced prosecutors of the Department of Justice on Oct. 9, 2023 for the clarificatory hearing. Photo courtesy of Senate of the Philippines livestream

MANILA, Philippines — Jey Rence Quilario or Senior Agila, the head of the Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. (SBSI), faced the prosecutors from the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a clarificatory hearing Monday, Oct. 9, on complaints of abuses allegedly committed by his group.

Aside from Quilario, Mamerto Galanida also attended the clarificatory hearing.

“Ang process diyan, kailangan muna nila [prosecutors] i-clarify yung ibang issues. They have to get certian facts straight para maayos yung preliminary investigation,” Assistant Secretary and DOJ Spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano told reporters in a phone patch interview.

(The process there, prosecutors need to first clarify some issues. They have to get certain facts straight to properly conduct the preliminary investigation.)

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Several complaints are pending against leaders of SBSI, accused of being a cult. In June 2023, complaints for qualified trafficking, kidnapping, and serious illegal detention, violation of Republic Act 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse law have been filed against Quilario and 12 others before the Surigao City Prosecutors Office.

Also, in June, a separate complaint for adultery against another SBSI member and a complaint for Obstruction of Justice was filed against one of its lawyers.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) also filed a separate complaint against SBSI leaders.

Preliminary investigations related to the Socorro group will be conducted in Manila.

“All cases pending or subsequent will be heard in Manila,” Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said in a text message.

On Monday, aside from SBSI officials, the complainants also appeared before the prosecutors for a clarificatory hearing.

First to answer questions are the complainants, mostly minors, followed by the respondents led by Quilario.


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TAGS: DOJ, Jey Rence Quilario, religious cult, Surigao del Norte

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