MANILA, Philippines — Someone else could be checking on alleged cult leader Jey Rence Quilario, who, according to Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, appeared unable to answer lawmakers’ questions during the Supreme Court’s investigation into the case.
“First review ko lang ‘yon, di ko alam kung nag drama drama lang siya pero sa nakikita ko mukhang someone controls from behind kung sino itong someone na ito or maybe some others (di natin alam),” dela Rosa said in an ambush interview .
(That’s my first guess. I don’t know if he’s acting ignorant, but from what I see, someone is checking from behind. But we don’t know who this person is or maybe a few others.)
Earlier in the hearing, lawmakers, especially Senator Risa Hontiveros, noted how Quilario usually requested another member, Mamerto Galanida, who was previously mayor of Socorro and board member of Surigao del Norte, to answer questions related to Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc.
Dela Rosa believes that Quilario, also known as ‘Senior Agila’, is just a ‘figurehead’ used by someone else or other leaders for his so-called ‘miraculous power’ to attract followers and potential members to Sitio Kapihan – their community – to lure.
The senator referred to the affidavit of a witness, in which he described how Quilario could stop the rain, make a bird sing and change or distort his voice, imitating an old lady and man, as well as one who spoke “katsila” – a Bisaya. term for Spanish.
Dela Rosa explained that this perceived power could have played a major role in convincing 38 teachers to quit their jobs and join the community, as well as police officers, who also joined to serve him.
Although he suspects someone else is behind Quilario, Dela Rosa believes the leader should still be held accountable for the accusations against him.
“Liable when it comes to forced marriages, siya ang nag-pa-pair. I know that I can commit rape, but that I can also commit rape if I do that. Siya ang tinuturo,” the senator said.
READ: Leader of ‘Socorro sect’, three others held in contempt amid Senate investigation
(He is still liable because all the children point to him about forced marriages. He pairs them up and tells the members to get married, sleep together or rape their husbands. They all point to him.)
Last September 18, Hontiveros initially exposed the activities of the SBSI, raising the plight of young members who were allegedly victims of sexual violence and forced to marry adults.
Her expose eventually led to a Supreme Court investigation into the group to save the children after Dela Rosa filed a separate resolution calling for an investigation.