Ex-members of Surigao del Norte ‘cult’ under custody of anti-trafficking council

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CEBU, Philippines – Lawyer Richard Dano, legal consultant of Task Force Kapihan, confirmed in a phone interview on Monday, October 2, that former members of the Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. (SBSI) were now under the custody of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).

Dano said that among the former members were child witnesses who ran away from their families multiple times to escape SBSI’s hilltop settlement in Sitio Kapihan, Barangay Sering, Socorro, Surigao del Norte.

At least eight of the minors had already given their statements for their affidavits on Monday, according to the legal consultant.

Three of the minors were present during a Thursday, September 28 hearing of the Senate public order committee, where they shared their experiences of being forced into marriage and undergoing military training for SBSI.

Last Thursday, IACAT Chairperson and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla endorsed the protective custody of nine minors and four adults – all former members of SBSI – to Social Welfare Secretary Rex Gatchalian.

Content retrieved from: https://www.rappler.com/nation/mindanao/ex-members-socorro-bayanihan-services-surigao-del-norte-cult-custody-anti-trafficking-council/.

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