MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs has inspected Sitio Kapihan in Surigao del Norte and found that the situation is worse than expected.
According to Senator Risa Hontiveros, the committee on Saturday declared the enclave of the controversial and alleged cult Socorro Bayanihan Services Inc. (SBSI) visited.
“The bottom line is that the staff of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs has taken over the inspection of Sitio Kapihan ngayong araw,” the senator said in a statement.
(The irregularities discovered by my staff and the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs during today’s inspection at Sitio Kapihan are worse than we expected.)
Hontiveros said the Ministry of Social Affairs and Development has registered at least 22 child marriages in the community, some of which are producing children. She points out that research must be conducted into the situation of the children born from these child marriages.
SBSI also does not have an organized death registry in their community, Hontiveros noted. There were no records of how the residents died and where they were buried – a clear violation of Presidential Decree No. 856 or the Code on Sanitation, the senator said.
The lack of death certificates makes it difficult for relatives to locate the graves of their deceased loved ones. On her Facebook page, Hontiveros shared photos showing the body of a child who had been reburied in another place without the knowledge of his or her parents.
The senator also said that due to the lack of basic official documents among residents of the community, there is a possibility of fraud or identity theft taking place when it comes to accessing government benefits.
Hontiveros stressed that Jay Rence “Senyor Agila” Quilario, the leader of SBSI, and his government, must explain these irregularities to the Senate.
In September, alleged child abuse and other illegal practices within SBSI reached the Senate. It has been investigating the case ever since.
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