Quiboloy’s Legal Justifications Against Senate Show-Cause Order

Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) founder Apollo Quiboloy
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Responding to the Show-Cause Order: Legal Justifications Presented by Apollo Quiboloy

In the face of the show-cause order issued by the Senate Committee on Women, Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader, Apollo Quiboloy, has put forward three legal justifications as to why he should not be arrested. These justifications, outlined in a 19-page “Compliance and Legal Justifications” statement signed by his lawyer, Melanio Elvis Balayan, shed light on the complexity of the situation.

Quiboloy argues that the Senate investigation compelling him to testify is not in aid of legislation but rather amounts to the usurpation of judicial functions beyond the powers of the Senate. He firmly believes that the Senate inquiry is overstepping its boundaries and encroaching upon the realm of the judiciary.

Furthermore, Quiboloy asserts that the proposed Senate Resolution 884, which called for the probe, is brazenly incriminatory. He highlights that the resolution categorically declares him guilty of the crimes he is accused of, disregarding the constitutional presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Quiboloy emphasizes the importance of upholding this fundamental principle of justice.

The statement, meticulously prepared by Quiboloy’s legal team, was submitted within the given 48-hour timeframe to the office of Senator Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros. It was also received by personnel from the Senate Office of Sergeant-at-Arms, with a copy furnished to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri. The promptness of Quiboloy’s response demonstrates his commitment to engaging with the legal process.

Hontiveros’ Response and the Need for Plenary Approval

In response to Quiboloy’s justifications, Senator Hontiveros has expressed her intention to request Senate President Zubiri to approve the arrest warrant against the religious leader. However, it is important to note that the potential arrest is not directly related to the serious accusations made against Quiboloy by the victims. Hontiveros clarifies that the arrest would be based on Quiboloy’s failure to attend the hearing.

Hontiveros acknowledges that the show-cause order is not explicitly outlined in the Senate’s rules. It was extended as a courtesy to Senator Robin Padilla at the request of the Senate President. Therefore, Hontiveros argues that a hearing in plenary is necessary to resolve the show-cause order. This highlights the importance of following established procedures and ensuring transparency in the Senate’s actions.

Precedents and the Role of the Senate

Senator Hontiveros suggests that Quiboloy’s camp should have considered precedents set in the Senate. She cites cases such as Senator Cynthia Villar’s decision to cite Davidson Bangayan in contempt and order his arrest, despite criminal charges already being filed against him. Additionally, Senator Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa continued to hear about the disappearance of Catherine Camilon, even with charges filed against the police officer believed to be responsible.

Senator Imee Marcos, during her hearing on people’s initiative, presented witnesses with covered faces and used aliases. In the Senate hearings on the killing of Horacio Castillo, Senate President Zubiri himself declined the right against self-incrimination excuse and utilized the contempt power of the Senate. These examples demonstrate the Senate’s ability to exercise its authority in certain circumstances.

Hontiveros highlights that the Senate is not a court and, therefore, cannot pass judgment on guilt or innocence. The Senate resolution is merely a proposal and only becomes binding when passed in plenary. Even then, it does not serve as a source of rights, duties, or liabilities. Hontiveros emphasizes the need for Quiboloy to present himself and engage in a constructive manner, avoiding unnecessary theatrics.

In conclusion, the ongoing dispute between Apollo Quiboloy and the Senate Committee on Women highlights the complexities of the legal process. Quiboloy’s legal justifications and Hontiveros’ response underscore the importance of adhering to established procedures and ensuring transparency in the Senate’s actions. As this issue unfolds, it is crucial to maintain a balanced perspective and respect the principles of justice.

Source: The Manila Times

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