A Catholic parish has called for prayers that truth will prevail in the alleged child abuse and exploitation by a supposed cult group in the southern Philippine province of Surigao del Norte.
The Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in the island town of Socorro, in a statement, said such “inhuman acts” are worth looking into.
A Senate inquiry is scheduled on Sept. 28 to investigate the allegations against the Socorro Bayanihan Services, also known as the Kapihan group.
Leaders of the group have been accused of committing sexual abuse, forced labor, and child marriages, as well as harboring firearms and illegal drug laboratories.
“Please pray for the victims of the Kapihan cult. Please pray for the residents of the island. Please pray for peace in this far-flung place of mission,” the parish said.
The parish also clarified that the group has no affiliation with the Catholic Church even if its leaders use the image of Santo Niño “in their indoctrination”.
Most residents of the town are said to be members of the Kapihan group, even higher in number than the Catholics in Socorro.
The parish then called on authorities to help the beleaguered members of the group.
“This context moves us to ask for help from the different agencies and organizations, who can rescue the followers from the clutches of their deceitful and abusive leaders,” it said.