Authorities rescued 49 minors from Palawan from the clutches of a cult based in Cavite province.
Lawyer Josie Agusti, regional director of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), said that after receiving complaints from the parents, they immediately coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to launch a rescue operation to recover the minors who belong to the Tagbanua tribe, from the custody of the Bride of Jesus.
Agusti said on September 4 parents from Coron town complained to her that there children who went with the religious group Bride of Jesus group were “maltreated.”
She said that parents of the minors, when they had the chance to contact their children, they were told that they don’t have “enough food and water and they lack the basic facilities.”
The children were brought to the group’s headquarter’s in Brgy. Buenavista, General Trias, Cavite where they were promised to be sent to a private university owned by the group, the parents said.
They discovered that the group has no permit to maintain a shelter for children and only have a registration from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Right now the children are with the provincial DSWD office in Cavite.
Agusti said they are now coordinating with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to use a C-130 plane to bring the minors back to Palawan.
The cult faces charges for human trafficking for bringing 49 minors from Palawan to their headquarters in Cavite province, she said.