Residents of Barangay Buhisan, Cebu City want out of their place a religious "cult" that allegedly engages in illegal treasure hunting activities and whose leader treats his female members as sex slaves.
Around 30 long-haired men, women and children of "Salva Me Pater Omnis Oculos Meus" have taken residence in Sitio Nazareth, Buhisan for five years now, creating a community that follows its own rules and severely punishing violators.
Roughly translated, the group's name means "Father, save us from all our offenses."
Living in caves and wooden houses five stories high, in a mountain that commands a view of the metropolis, the group waits "for the heavens will rain fire and brimstone."
They keep a stable of horses, goats and chickens. They share a TV, a transistor radio and a VCD player. A member keeps a cellular phone to call "members living abroad." They call their leader, Alfredo Verano, "Daddy Divine."
Around 150 residents also signed a petition demanding that Alcover and his group be ejected from the barangay.
"Verano sexually abuse minors by making them believe it is the way to salvation," their petition read.
Wafer alleged that when she was still with the group, Verano required them to sleep in a cave with only their panties on.
Last year, she decided she had enough after seeing Verano having sex with a married female member. She stayed with the group for only two months.
Alcover, too, left after Verano asked her to hold his penis and to "take care of it."
"Galma ni og tulo ka adlaw, ug maimo na ni," Alcover quoted Verano in her affidavit. (Take care of this for three days and this will be yours.)
The Alcover couple also accused Verano of swindling. They said Verano asked them to give him P20,000 "as a way to God's salvation."
They sold a parcel of their lot and gave the amount to Verano, who promised that the money will return to them 15 times as much.
This was shortly after the couple joined the group in 1994, with its base in Banawa at that time.
"I waited and waited, but no return of my money was made," Alcover said in her affidavit.
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