‘Cult leader’ who kept girl in sexual captivity falls

A SUSPECTED religious cult leader in Mambajao, Camiguin was arrested by police on Tuesday, September 24, for allegedly turning the daughter of his member as sex slave since she was 13 and for detaining her while she was trying to escape.

Armed with an arrest warrant issued by Branch 28, Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Mambajao town on Tuesday, police arrested cult leader Petronilo Magallon, 75, and the victim’s aunt for six counts of rape and serious illegal detention charges.

Authorities said the victim (identity withheld) was repeatedly abused since she was 13. She is now 22.

Magallon allegedly organized and led a cult called “Gamhanang Ama”. His followers call him Ama, believing him to be the God and creator of the universe.

The cult members are meeting up on Saturdays. The victim’s mother, grandmother, aunties, uncles, and cousins, are also members.

In February 2011, the victim went with her mother to celebrate Magallon’s birthday. When the visitors were eating, the victim said her aunt told her to go upstairs “upon the order of Ama."

She was then told to go inside a room and undress because “Ama wants to have sex."

When she protested, her aunt got mad and told her not to decline the request of the “owner of the universe.”

Against her will, the victim was forced to have sex with Magallon while her aunt was watching.

Since then, Magallon would allegedly rape the victim every time he wanted to have sex.

In April 2014, the victim tried to escape but was caught. As a result, she was detained for a month inside a room and allowed only to go out to eat, defecate, and take a bath, but always under someone’s watchful eyes.

This went on until May 20, 2019 when the victim successfully escaped.

Upon her checkup, she learned she got a sexually transmitted infection.

For his part, Magallon denied the allegations saying it was impossible for him to rape the victim since he has erectile dysfunction.

However, Provincial Prosecutor Jonathan Pacuribot said the prosecution found sufficient evidence to engender a well-founded belief that respondents conspired, confederated, and mutually helped one another and should be indicted for 6 counts of rape and serious illegal detention.

The court did not allow the suspects to post bail.

Although the victim alleges she was raped many times, the prosecutor said they are only considering the incidents with the dates.

Pacuribot said the victim is under the protection of the Regional Prosecutor’s Office.

“Hatagan namo ug protection kay mismo iyang mama mo-testify against sa iya,” he said.

The two suspects are currently detained at Camiguin Provincial Police Office.


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