Mar 13, 2024

Looming arrest for Quiboloy as Senate won't shield 'Son of God'

Cristina Chi
March 13, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Defenders of controversial preacher Apollo Quiboloy at the Senate have failed to muster enough signatures to block the contempt order against him, placing the self-claimed "Son of God" at the mercy of looming arrest if he does not respond to a show cause order within 48 hours.

Quiboloy's Senate defense crumbled on Tuesday after only five senators signed the written objection to the contempt order against the Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder, Sen. Robin Padilla said. This is three signatures short of the eight required to overturn the contempt ruling.

The five senators who attempted to shield Quiboloy are Padilla, Sen. Bong Go, Sen. Imee Marcos, Sen. Mark Villar and Sen. Cynthia Villar, according to Padilla.

This comes a week after the Senate women and gender equality committee chaired by Sen. Risa Hontiveros cited Quiboloy in contempt for his continued refusal to face the panel about the charges against him and his church.

The Senate has since issued an order against Quiboloy compelling him to "show cause" on why he should not be cited for contempt.

The show cause order, signed by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Hontiveros, states that if Quiboloy does not comply, the Sergeant-At-Arms is "directed to make a return hereof within tenty four hours from its enforcement."  

Zubiri said on Tuesday that if Quiboloy's response is not satisfactory, it would be "ministerial" on the part of the Senate to order Quiboloy's arrest.

Quiboloy has been cited for contempt by two committees at the House and the Senate for his continued refusal to personally appear in hearings concerning his actions as KOJC leader and founder of KOJC's media partner, SMNI. 

The Senate women and gender equality committee is currently investigating the sexual crimes allegedly committed by Quiboloy and other KOJC leaders, while the House legislative franchises committee is deliberating on a bill that seeks to cancel the legislative franchise of SMNI after it allegedly aired content that violates its franchise terms.

Quiboloy, through his legal representatives, has repeatedly said that he refuses to attend committee hearings at the Senate and the House due to concerns with possible violations of his right to due process.

Hontiveros has warned the controversial preacher that he only has 48 hours "to give the Senate a good reason why he should not be arrested," the senator said in an interview with ANC's Headstart on Wednesday. 

"All these years that you have laid down and imposed those rules on your followers, even to the point of abusing their rights and welfare, in the Senate you will find that we follow our rules," Hontiveros said.

"But we also expect citizens like yourself, Pastor Quiboloy, whom we ask to speak on issues that are important to people to respect those rules," the senator added.

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