5 senators not in favor of Quiboloy’s arrest

MANILA. Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.
MANILA. Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.SMNI file photo

SENATOR Robin Padilla said on Thursday, March 7, 2024, that four of his fellow senators have expressed support to prevent a Senate panel from issuing a contempt order against Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

In a press conference, Padilla said Senators Imee Marcos, Cynthia Villar, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and JV Ejercito all signed a written manifestation opposing the issuance of an arrest order against Quibiloy.

Villar in a message to reporters said Quiboloy is a friend.

“Mabait siya sa aming pamilya. Nagtataka ako dyan sa case na yan kaya medyo hindi ako naniniwala sa case na yan,” she said.

(He is kind to my family. I wonder about that case, so I don't believe in that case.)

Padilla said one of the reasons for his objection is the provision in the Constitution on the separation of church and the state.

The Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, which conducts probe into the alleged crimes committed within the organization, is seeking the arrest of Quiboloy.

During the resumption of the probe on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, committee chairperson Risa Hontiveros cited Quiboloy in contempt for “for his refusal to be sworn or to testify before this investigation.”

Padilla blocked the motion.

Hontiveros said the members of the panel have seven days to formalize the objection.

Padilla has to gather at least eight signatures from the members of the panel in order to prevent the panel from issuing a contempt order.

In a letter addressed to Hontiveros and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, Quiboloy’s lawyer, Melanio Balayan, said the “issuance and enforcement of the said subpoena is in wanton violation of the fundamental and sacred constitutional rights of our client against self-incrimination and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.”

On Monday, the Justice department ordered the filing of human trafficking and child abuse charges against Quiboloy. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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