Fiscal files charges vs cult leader, guards

Philippine Sun Star/November 23, 2002
By Lizanilla J. Amarga

The Provincial Prosecutors Office will file nine cases against cult leader Master Tomas Eugenio of the Philippine Benevolent Christian Missionaries (PBCM) and his eight elite guards on Friday.

Misamis Oriental Provincial Fiscal Arturo Ubaub said they have already concluded their preliminary investigations and are just finalizing the documents needed for the filing of the nine cases.

"It was agreed that I will be the one personally to handle the cases as dako kini nga kaso (this is a critical case)," he told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro in a telephone interview on Thursday.

The eight camouflaged-clad guards will be charged separately for illegal possession of firearms, improper use of uniform and insignia and usurpation of authority.

Eugenio will be facing only illegal possession of firearms for the six high powered long firearms found in his Mansion's bedroom.

Ubaub said they would have filed a case of rebellion or sedition against the group as to why they were amassing such high-powered firearms and wearing military uniforms.

"But the evidences we have gathered does not warrant such. We could have filed it in court still but it will just be dismissed and it will be unfair for the accused," he said.

Ocular visit

Eugenio and his guards were arrested after 16 high-powered firearms and assorted ammunitions were seized by the composite military-police team in a raid at the PBCM compound at San Antonio, Jasaan town, Misamis Oriental last Sept. 25.

Lawyers Augusto Neri and former city fiscal and city legal officer Casiano Gamotin, Eugenio and his guards' legal counsel were unavailable for comment as of presstime on Thursday.

Ubaub recounted how they conducted their preliminary investigations which even led them to make an ocular visit at the PBCM compound.

He said they didn't find any more firearms inside the place, only Eugenio's "very large" store.

"Dako kaayo ang ilang tindahan daghan kaayo ug baligya warag Gaisano o SM (They have a large store which displays several items which could rival that of our local department stores Gaisano or Shoe Mart)," the fiscal said.

Ubaub said they also noticed how Eugenio's mansion is now converted into a "Tomas Eugenio College Foundation, Incorporated" but with elemetary pupils studying there.

He said if they have found more evidence during their onsite investigation this would have been added up to the nine cases they were set to file.

"But so far wala man so mao ra gihapon as of now (But we didn't find anything so it will just be the nine cases as for now)," he said.


The six firearms recovered at Eugenio's bedroom include two carbine pistolized cal. 30 with defaced serial number, one carbine cal. 30 with serial number (SN) 4801016, one M16 armalite rifle Elisco SN 135037 and a Thompson .46 cal. submachine gun.

For ammunitions, there were 582 rounds of ammos for M16, 151 rounds ammos for cal. 30 carbine and 70 rounds of ammos for 7.62 cal that were confiscated.

Also 31 magazines long for 5.56 (M16) cal. 17 magazines shor for 5.56 (M16) cal., five magazines for cal. 30 carbine, three magazines for 7.62 cal. M14 and three magazines for BAR or Browning Automatic Rifle. There were also pieces f Bandoleers for M16 magazines taken.

PBCM guards Juanito Colihat, Agustin Bayeta Jr., Cresencio Torentira and Pimiano Pactol were caught with 5.56 baby armalite rifle each along with several ammo.

All of their firearms were defaced except for Torentira's.

Felix Malaygay and Dionision Mojado were caught with 5.56 baby armalite rifle with tampered serial numbers. They also have several magazines and other ammunitions with them.

A 7.62 M14 automatic rifle was taken from Gorgonio Ampoloquio while Prudencio Ligutom was caught with the most high-powered firearm confiscated a BAR with several bar ammos.

Ubaub said the defacing of the SN of the firearms will serve as additional evidence of their "not so good intentions."

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.