Cultist tagged in New Year's Day attack yields

Minda News/January 4, 2005
By Bong Sarmiento

Kidapawan City -- A top leader of a pseudo-religious sect who is wanted for allegedly ordering an attack in a remote village in Makilala town, voluntarily surrendered to authorities on Monday.

Felicisima Galope, however, denied the accusations hurled against her by her former 'master' and followers.

The suspect is being accused of leading an attack on Jan. 1 against Lovely Paraiso, the 'supreme master' of Alpha and Omega and the village chair of New Israel in Makilala, North Cotabato that killed a top leader of the group and injured two other members.

Galope and some of her followers decided to surrender to authorities after her name was implicated in the attack that killed a certain Andres Alboro and injured two other members.

She said it was Alboro who wanted to kill Paraiso because of a 'very personal problem'. "It was Alboro's own volition to kill our master. I didn't order him to kill Paraiso," she insisted.

In an interview over radio station dxND, she said there is no truth to allegations that she and Paraiso have 'irreconcilable differences'.

"I still do respect her because we still hail her as our savior," she said.

To her followers, Paraiso is their 'modern day savior', who is likened to Jesus Christ.

Galope told dxND that with this belief she could not even think of 'killing' her 'master'.

"How can I kill my own master?" she asked.

Paraiso became the 'supreme master' of Alpha and Omega when her father, Pastor Maximo Sandot Gabernas, died in 1992.

Gabernas founded the group in the early '60s after he claimed to have heard God's voice ordering him to form a 'New Israel' in Makilala, then a remote village of Kidapawan City.

Meantime, the 39th Infantry Battalion has intensified security measures in Barangay New Israel to prevent similar incidents in the future.

"The problem with Barangay New Israel has become very deep. It's a personal grudge between two opposing leaders of Alpha and Omega," said Lt. Roden Orbon, spokesperson of the 39th IB.

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