Photo of PNP Public Information Office (PIO) chief Colonel Jean Fajardo during a press conference on Friday, June 14.
Photo of PNP Public Information Office (PIO) chief Colonel Jean Fajardo during a press conference on Friday, June 14.Third Ann Peralta-Malonzo

PNP ready for investigation over manhunt operations against Quiboloy

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) is open for any investigation related to the June 10, 2024 manhunt operations launched in Davao against Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and five others, PNP Public Information Office (PIO) chief Colonel Jean Fajardo said Friday, June 14.

In a press conference in Camp Crame in Quezon City, Fajardo maintained the regularity of the operations led by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Special Action Force (SAF) for the service of an arrest warrant issued by the court.

She said the simultaneous implementation of the arrest warrants at the KOJC compound in Barangay Buhangin, Davao City; the Prayer Mountain in Tamayon; the Glory Mountain in Purok 6; the QSands Baptismal Resort in Samal; and the Kitbog Compound in Malungon, Sarangani came following an information received by the police on the possible location of Quiboloy and five other KOJC officials, namely Jackielyn W. Roy, Cresente Canada, Paulene Canada, Ingrid Canada and Sylvia Cemañes.

The accused has standing arrest warrants for child and sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Fajardo reiterated the need to deploy a huge number of police personnel during the operations for the maintenance of peace and order considering the “anticipated” circumstances particularly the possible resistance of Quiboloy’s supporters.

Supporters of Quiboloy gathered at the entrance of the KOJC compound and even used a water cannon to prevent the police from getting inside.

Six KOJC members who allegedly attacked police in Glory Mountain using bolos were charged with obstruction of justice.

“Huwag natin kalimutan na kaya tayo nandoon ay dahil gusto natin i-serve ang mga warrants of arrest (WOA) sa mga taong akusado. Ang PNP ay handa at bukas sa pag-iimbestiga ng ano mang forum or any body na mag-iimbestiga dahil sinasabi nila na lumagpas tayo doon sa mga boundaries ng batas pero huwag natin kalimutan na ‘yung mga subjects ng mga WOAs na nagsasabing sumunod tayo sa batas ay dapat bigyan din natin sila ng paalala na dapat sila rin ay sumunod sa batas. May mga inissue na WOAs sa kanila. Kung sinasabi nila na ang PNP ay rumespeto sa batas, siguro yun din ‘yung sasabihin natin sa kanila rumespeto din sila sa batas. Respetuhin nila ‘yung court processes,” said Fajardo.

(Let's not forget that the reason we are there is because we want to serve warrants of arrest [WOA] to the accused individuals. The PNP is ready and open to investigating in any forum or body because they say we have exceeded legal boundaries, but let's not forget that the subjects of these WOAs who claim we followed the law should also be reminded that they too should follow the law. WOAs have been issued against them. If they say the PNP respects the law, maybe that's what we should tell them - that they should also respect the law. They should respect court processes.)

“Hindi pupuwede ang application ng batas ay kikilalanin natin kapag ito ay pabor sa atin. Kapag hindi pabor sa atin ay sasabihin natin ang PNP ang mali…Wala tayong paghuhusga. Linawin natin wala sa poder ng PNP sa paghuhusga. Meron tayong korte na titimbang whether or not merong basehan itong mga kasong isinampa sa kanila at yun naman ay rerespetuhin natin. Ang sa PNP lang ay kailangan natin i-enforce itong WOAs at sana respetuhin din yan ng parte ng Pastor Quiboloy at iba pa pong akusado,” she added.

(We cannot selectively recognize the application of the law only when it favors us. When it does not, we say that the PNP is at fault... We are not judging. Let's clarify that it is not within the PNP's power to judge. We have courts that will weigh whether the cases filed against them have merit, and we will respect that. For the PNP, our role is only to enforce these WOAs, and we hope that Pastor Quiboloy and the other accused will also respect that.)

Investigation

Following the operation, Davao regional police chief Brigadier General Aligre Lamsen Martinez, PNP Directorate for Operations director Major General Ronald Lee, and Colonel Edwin Portento of the Intelligence Group along with nine CIDG operatives, two SAF troopers and one personnel from the traffic enforcement unit were relieved from post.

Fajardo said this is to give way to the investigation of possible lapses in the said operations.

“Itong administrative relief particularly ng ating mga senior officers at iba pa pong mga PNP personnel ay para magbigay daan para i-assess, i-evaluate at imbestigahan kung ano po bang nangyari noong June 10 that led to this issue na nagkaroon ng mga ganitong usapin na overkill,” she said.

(This administrative relief, particularly for our senior officers and other PNP personnel, is intended to provide an avenue to assess, evaluate, and investigate what happened on June 10 that led to this issue of overkill.)

Some of the CIDG and SAF personnel deployed for the implementation of the WOA came from other regions.

In a statement, former President Rodrigo Duterte, who was named as the new administrator of properties belonging to KOJC, vowed to support the members and missionaries of the religious group by taking legal actions against those who are involved in what he tagged as a “day of infamy.”

The KOJC maintained that the PNP’s procedure in arresting the fugitive preacher was unlawful and unconstitutional, noting the absence of a search warrant.

In a statement, Senator Robin Padilla said he will file a resolution seeking the conduct of a Senate probe on the PNP’s “unnecessary and excessive force” during the manhunt operations against Quiboloy.

"In serving warrants, law enforcement should take into consideration the totality of the situation at hand which should not in any way violate the dignity of persons...There is a need for the PNP to promote and protect human rights because these very acts are vital to the maintenance of public order, guarantee of public safety, and respect for the rule of law," said Padilla.

"There is a need for the PNP to promote and protect human rights because these very acts are vital to the maintenance of public order, guarantee of public safety, and respect for the rule of law," he added. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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