Senator Risa Hontiveros wants the Senate to investigate cases of rape, sexual abuse, forced labor, and child marriage involving an alleged cult in Socorro, Surigao del Norte.
Hontiveros has filed Senate Resolution No. 797, to inquire into the activities of the Socorro Bayanihan Services, Inc. (SBSI), an alleged cult led by Jey Rence Quilario, known as “Senior Agila,” who is said to be the cult’s “messiah.”
Reports said based on direct and first-hand testimonies, Quilario would allegedly engage in acts of sexual abuse and violence against minors, including ordering children to sleep with him, Hontiveros said in a privileged speech.
Quilario also reportedly facilitates marriages of children as young as 12 years old with adults and locking adolescents in rooms to engage in sexual activities.
At present, the alleged cult, also known as Omega de Salonera, reportedly has 3,650 members, including 1,587 children.
The senator said the group is in an enclosed and heavily guarded area on a mountain known as Sitio Kapihan in the municipality of Socorro.
Saying that this is alarming and scary, Hontiveros cited the need to end this cult.
“As Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women and Children, and as a mother, I ask not to allow this monstrosity to continue,” she said.
In July, eight children reportedly ran away from the cult after repeated instances of abuse and exploitation. Hontiveros also described the leader of the group as a “scammer.”
Senator Ronald dela Rosa also filed Resolution 796 to investigate the alleged cult. According to Dela Rosa, authorities should conduct a serious investigation into the group, which is said to have a private army and a shabu laboratory.
Dela Rosa said he got reports that the shabu laboratory is in an underground bunker within the vicinity of the so-called “White House” where Quilario and another cult leader Karren Sanico live.
The laboratory was reported as being guarded by private armies who were heavily-armed men and clad in uniform emblazoned with Agila.
Reports further said the cult gets support from an extremist group in Southern Mindanao. They are also using cult members as human shields.
The senator said he was also informed by a task force of the Socorro mayor that before a 12-year-old bride would marry, she would be forced to have sex with Quilario.
From the time of their birth, children are not allowed to leave their sanctuary until they get married