May 022014
 

TKR Header 3Last January we wrote of an unfolding child abuse scandal at a Christian orphanage in the Philippines.

“In Lucena City an orphanage, the Sankey Samaritan Mission for poor children and youth, was raided by the NBI and an American, Tom Randall and orphanage manager Toto Luchavez and his son Jake Luchavez were arrested and are charged with trafficking and child abuse based on strong testimony of some of the 31 victims.”

The story in the American media was all about the head of the mission, Tom Randall, and the American outrage over his incarceration and the attempts to get him released.

The whistleblowers in the case were painted as jealous rivals and the accusers as unbalanced youth with an agenda.

Randall was released and has made much of his love for the children and his support of his employees who remained under prosecution.

For most in the American media, the story ended with Randall’s release and triumphant return home.

God had triumphed and the “good guys” won.

That’s not the real end of the story, however.

Despite attempts to free Jake and Toto Luchavez (allegedly by a defense team paid by Randall) we have obtained documents of the charges against them and they will go to trial in June.

Jake Luchavez is accused of one count of rape and another of committing a lascivious act against a minor.

Both of the alleged victims were young boys.

Toto Luchavez is charged will three counts of lascivious acts against three separate female minors.

The alleged abuses go back to at least 2005.

There is a possibility that more charges will be added at trial or prosecuted separately.

We have been spoken to as well of numerous allegations of bribery and coercion to silence both the victims and witnesses pretrial.

Please listen to this podcast with one of the whistleblowers and one of the victims.

Miriam Bongolan podcast

We covet your prayers as we continue to follow this story.

A note on the “giggling” from a person familiar with the culture;

“If you are listening to the podcast, you may be perplexed as to why the young woman is giggling, as if this isn’t a serious issue to her. I feel it needs to be said that in the Filipino culture, they “giggle” when they feel uncomfortable about a situation. To a Westerner, this kind of reaction may seem like they are insincere or just “goofing around,” but let me assure you, it is a very natural reaction for Filipinos to giggle when they feel extremely uncomfortable in a situation.”

phoenixpreacher@gmail.com

 

  49 Responses to “Update on the Philippine Child Abuse Story”

  1. Praying. May the truth come out. Thank you, Michael for pursuing this.

  2. Thank you, Nonnie…I’m praying that a news agency with more resources than an unemployed blogger will pick this up.

  3. A news agency with more resources and the integrity to do the right thing with the information they receive.

  4. Those poor kids. From what I’ve read there were a lot more victims than what’s being officially brought as charges. What a sick twisted thing to do under the guise of religion and helping orphans. Such evil that would prey on the weak like that.

    Good job reporting this story Michael.

  5. Hmm, illustrates the dynamic of having to be more personally involved with a particular church-group…if this was a CC abuse issue, there would be 500 comments already. Not a knock on our Group, just shows how much we are all connected b/c of that part of our lives.

  6. What was almost as reprehensible as the abuse itself is the way so many “good Christians” rallied round the accused with a Facebook page and blogs., and it appeared they could not have care less about the young people and children that were saying they were abused. Rather than praying for truth they could only praise and exalt their missionary hero. (As far as I know, no one believed the missionary was personally guilty of abusing the children, but he was not taking action in dealing with his co-workers who were accused)

  7. As a person who was caught up in this right from the start I have seen and heard so much that Tom Randall has done to have the charges against his director and son dropped. He has thrown so much money to have the charges dropped. He only cares about his name and using the young people to make people feel sorry for him. All the youth’s education is being sponsored by Australians and Americans. Most of Randall’s money goes to pay the highest paid and profile lawyers in the Philippines. Pray that justice is done when the truth comes out. Maybe then Tom Randall will see what a fool he has been and the American people who have donated will start to ask about their hero. Thank you Michael for covering this story and pray you never tire.

  8. Thank you John.

  9. Thank you John! Unfortunately, Tom Randall’s church has NOT heard the real truth about the victims. They cannot contemplate that monies they earmarked for orphans were being managed by the Administrator and his son who are sexual monsters. I have no respect for Tom Randall or anyone who supports him – including Joe Coffey who is the Lead Pastor at Tom’s church and was duped by Tom and Toto’s lies.

  10. Melanie, did you go to Coffey’s church? Just wondering. I agree that people need to know what their monies are going for, if they believe it is for the orphanage and it is instead going towards attorney’s fees.

  11. Yes I do, Nonnie. I would respect Joe Coffey if he would have just admitted that he was duped by his long time friend, Tom Randall. Just makes me wonder if he is protecting the institution of the church (like the Catholic Church did when some priests were molesting kids) or really wanted to protect the victims. I would have more respect for someone who would admit they were misled by their unwavering admiration of Tom Randall and actually checked out BOTH sides of the issue. At this point, continuing to cover up the truth will only make things worse. The truth will come out – it always does – even after all the monies the Catholic Church spent to cover up some of the priests who did horrendous things to the kids – it DID come out. They would be more respected if they just admitted it happened, CLEAN THE WOUND so it can heal and go on.

  12. Melanie’s 11. Yes. I agree completely. I hope people are listening and aware. Sadly however, from the FB page about TR I was disgusted by the rah rah support without consideration for the victims.

    I am glad to know there are local people who are listening and aware.

  13. Yes, Nonnie – there is a small group of local people who are aware. I even had people contact me from other churches – inviting me to attend their church and realize that things like this happen. Even Opra’s school in Africa had sexual monsters. It DOES happen.

  14. As a victim of sexual monsters( outside of and inside oc the church) i have no words….the pain runs deep and lasts a life time…..praying for the victims may they find their healing

  15. Love you, Dusters!

  16. We have recorded the podcast and as soon as I can get it uploaded I will post it.
    When you hear the whistleblowers heart yourself, all doubt about her story (if you have any) will pass.
    This is bigger than me and I’m not competent on my own to make the impact this story deserves.
    Prayers appreciated.

  17. Thank you Michael for letting the voices heard. Can I share on my Facebook page?

  18. Melanie,

    Share far and wide.
    We just added the podcast to this article…could a few of you test that for me?

  19. Works great. Listening now.

  20. Listening here as well, working just fine.

  21. Thank you, Sarah, thank you, E!

  22. If you are listening to the podcast, you may be perplexed as to why the young woman is giggling, as if this isn’t a serious issue to her. I feel it needs to be said that in the Filipino culture, they “giggle” when they feel uncomfortable about a situation. To a Westerner, this kind of reaction may seem like they are insincere or just “goofing around,” but let me assure you, it is a very natural reaction for Filipinos to giggle when they feel extremely uncomfortable in a situation.

  23. The initial response of the Pro-Randall crowd was typical evangelical “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” mindset. Glad to see some sort of formal investigation went forward and that there are charges and hopefully no more kids will get hurt out of that situation.

    Very much affirm what the whistleblowers did in staying strong and coming forward and taking the heat in the face of so many idiots who supported the status quo and wanted to sweep the whole thing under the rug. Well done for staying strong and doing the right thing, which was hard to do.

  24. I see nothing but the “devil” (whatever it is whether metaphor for man’s dual nature or a real evil entity) in the actions of those who tried to protect the Leaders and the status quo…and I see nothing but Jesus in the actions of those who stood up for the children, the least of these…the orphans who were in a very weak and vulnerable and powerless position against their abusers.

  25. Nonnie,

    Thank you for clarifying that for the listeners…I can assure everyone that all involved were as serious as you can hope for.

  26. ““Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    http://blog.speakupmovement.org/university/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/DBStatementimage2.png

  27. Michael — thank you for this valuable contribution to a deeply disturbing and on-going story. We hope and pray that major media outlets pick up this story and bring it to the nation’s attention. Public exposure before Toto and Jake’s court date may be the best way to prevent more damage to these children.

  28. Agree with James Lanier. I posted the podcast on my FB page! Everyone – let’s get this out to the media! More importantly, the entire congregation of Christ Community Chapel needs to be aware of the charges of Toto and Jake – because they have thus far been hidden/concealed.

  29. I attend a church in San Jose, CA who support Tom Randall. I’m basically a loner (I know of no one else, except for some family members, who supports Joe M, his daughters and others or the victims). I talked to my church, and they believe what Tom has told them, hook, line and sinker. I told them, I will no longer give to the mission fund. The truth does come out, but we may not get the truth on this side of the grave!

  30. Michael, can you post Nommie’s comment (or similar statement) about the giggling? I thought that too, but gave the benefit of the doubt. Others may not be so forgiving.

  31. It is amazing that so many people believe Tom hook, line and sinker. I will no longer give to the mission fund either. People can’t contemplate that such horrendous things happened to the orphanage they supported.

  32. Paul,

    Excellent suggestion and I have added that to the body of the post.
    Thank you!

  33. James, Melanie…thank you for posting and helping to raise awareness about this mess.
    If we do not speak, the story, the victims, and the whistleblowers will get buried.

  34. Thank you, Michael, for posting this and the podcast.

  35. Melanie, I am so glad you are speaking out for truth, in your area!

  36. Thanks Nonnie! So many people just buried their heads in the sand and didn’t want to face reality here. So very sad for the orphan victims.

  37. One thing I’m a little confused about is Bethel Church. It sounds like Bethel was part of the abuse, one of the leaders was abusive, and is still over the adult kids. If that’s the case, why are the victims staying at Bethel right now?

  38. Is this related to the one that we heard about years ago? that no one wanted to do anything about then either….a CC ‘missionary’ who rapped a young girl?

  39. as far as the giggling – I do that as well when I am in an awkward situation…and she is just a child.

  40. God, Father God, why do You allow monsters to do such things to children? I don’t understand and my heart bleeds and shatters from the pain of these stories. Do not let these monsters to go unpunished…have mercy on the children Lord Jesus

  41. Dusty,

    This is a whole new story…

  42. a new story….uggg…my heart still hurts over the first one….

  43. and I am guessing that wasn’t the very first one…just the first one I heard of….sigh…..monsters, why does God allow them to exist?

  44. Dusty – We can’t understand why these things are allowed to happen. Part of the reason could be that some people “overlook” because they can’t believe there are actually monsters out there. So thankful for this website to get the word out so maybe this will help kids in the future from the same thing happening to them. My heart goes out to you for all that you have been through. Praying for you.

  45. Melanie, thank you for your kind words. I am so thankful for this website as well to get the word out about abuse in many areas of the church.

  46. Paul #37 .. Bethel Community Church is were the Sankey young people are staying. It is run by a American Missionary lady. It is part funded by Tom Randall. When Sankey was closed by a court order, the office worker ( Toto’s next in charge ) mentioned in the interview moved to Bethel along with Jake’s girlfriend. The office worker handles all the monies for Sankey for the sponsors of the youth. All sponsors are Australian and Americans. I have sponsored a young lady through High school and college. She graduated as a nurse last month. Bethel Church was were the Sankey youth attended prior to the rescue and is about 5 kms from Sankey

  47. correction to my last .. it is Bethel Bible Community

  48. the person in charge of the kids at the Bethel church was Toto’s main assistant in the operation of Sankey, but she was not implicated in any sexual abuse.

  49. Wow 31 abuse victims – Terrible! Trafficking Orphans – Unforgiveable! Is the opening paragraph correct? If it is true, how could they ever let ANY of these monsters out!? How could ANYONE come to the defense of these abusers if there is strong testimony from the victims of child trafficking!!!

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