Senate Panel Orders Pastor Quiboloy to Explain Absence in Trafficking Inquiry

Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) founder Apollo Quiboloy
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The Senate Committee’s Order to Pastor Apollo Quiboloy

The Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality in the Philippines has taken action against Pastor Apollo Quiboloy. The committee, led by Senator Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros, has ordered Quiboloy to show cause within 48 hours as to why he should not be arrested and detained at the Senate premises.

Contempt of Inquiry

The committee cited Quiboloy for contempt due to his refusal to participate in the inquiry regarding the reported cases of large-scale human trafficking, rape, sexual abuse, violence, and child abuse within the Kingdom Jesus Christ (KoJC). The inquiry took place on January 23, February 19, and March 5, 2024.

Arrest Order and Justifiable Reasons

Senator Hontiveros ordered Quiboloy’s arrest for unduly refusing to appear at the hearings despite receiving notices. Quiboloy had only sent his counsel to represent him without providing a justifiable reason for his absence. This action by Quiboloy has been seen as a delay, impediment, and obstruction to the inquiry.

The show cause order, signed by Senator Hontiveros, states, “You are hereby ordered to show cause within a non-extendible period of 48 hours from receipt of this Order why you should not be ordered arrested and detained at the Office of the Sergeant-At-Arms.” The Senate Sergeant-At-Arms has been directed to provide a return within 24 hours from the enforcement of the order.

Senate President’s Support

Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, who proposed the idea to Senator Hontiveros, approved the arrest order against Quiboloy. Zubiri urged Hontiveros to exhaust all legal means to compel Quiboloy to attend the public hearing.

Opposition to the Arrest Order

Senator Robinhood Padilla has sought to overturn the arrest order against Quiboloy. Padilla argues that since the accusations against Quiboloy are already with the Department of Justice, it is the judiciary that will determine his guilt or innocence. Padilla believes that holding congressional hearings would be a waste of taxpayers’ money.

However, Padilla’s attempt to gather support to invalidate the contempt charge was not successful. He managed to get only four signatures, including Senators Christopher “Bong” Go, Maria Josefa Imelda “Imee” Marcos, Cynthia Villar, and Mark Villar.

Concerns and Perspectives

In a privilege speech, Senator Padilla expressed concerns about Quiboloy’s safety and highlighted his contributions to society. On the other hand, Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay, a panel member, did not sign the document rejecting Hontiveros’ contempt charge and the arrest order against Quiboloy. Binay stated that she respects the decision of the chairperson and believes that Quiboloy should attend the inquiry, either virtually or physically.

Binay emphasized the importance of requiring invited resource persons to participate in Senate inquiries, stating that it would be a reversal of decision if Quiboloy’s absence were to be accepted. When asked about the seriousness of the allegations against Quiboloy, Binay confirmed their gravity, mentioning that an alleged rape victim appeared in the Senate to testify against him.

Conclusion

The Senate Committee’s order for Pastor Apollo Quiboloy to show cause within 48 hours reflects the seriousness of the allegations against him. The committee’s aim is to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their social standing, are held accountable for their actions. As the legal process unfolds, it is essential to respect the role of both the judiciary and the legislative branch in upholding justice and protecting the rights of the victims involved.

Source: The Manila Times

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