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Senate panel cites Apollo Quiboloy in contempt
Senate panel cites Apollo Quiboloy in contempt
Senate panel cites Apollo Quiboloy in contempt
by Mary Antalan05 March 2024
Photo courtesy: Senate of the Philippines

The Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality under Senator Risa Hontiveros cited controversial Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader Apollo Quiboloy for contempt on Tuesday, March 5.

This was made after the self-proclaimed "son of God" refused to attend the Senate investigation regarding his cases of human trafficking and sexual abuse involving his religious group.


Quiboloy, who repeatedly ignored the invitation of the Senate, was being sought to be arrested following the contempt.

"Pursuant to Section 18 of the Rules of the Senate, as chair of the Committee, with the concurrence of one member here with me (Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III), I cite in contempt Apollo Carreon Quiboloy for his refusal to be sworn or to testify before this investigation. This committee requests the Senate President to order his arrest so that he may be brought to testify," Hontiveros said.

In a letter sent by Quiboloy's lawyer, Melanio Balayan, dated February 28, it said that the Senate's issuance of a 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."

"With the criminal charges against him being tried virtually in public through the Senate committee and all available media, our client is now being humiliated, ridiculed, harassed, and maligned at all media fronts with reckless abandon as if he were already a convict. The essence of due process of law—that hears before it condemns—is being rendered useless under the present circumstances. We thus invoke our client's right against further incrimination by recusing himself from the ongoing investigation," the letter read.


Hontiveros, however, stressed that the power of the Senate to conduct an investigation would become voidable and allow witnesses to claim that appearing before a committee would violate his constitutional right to be presumed innocent and his right against self-incrimination.

"Madaling-madali na lang umiwas sa mga hearing ng Blue Ribbon sa mga tiwaling opisyal, sa mga imbestigasyon ng Public Order Committee sa mga sangkot sa mga krimen. Hindi po uubra ang ganitong mga excuse," the Senator said.

Meanwhile, Senator Robin Padilla immediately expressed his objection to the citation of contempt against Quiboloy.

"Ipagpaumanhin po ninyo, akin pong tinututulan ang naging pasya na ma-contempt si Pastor Quiboloy, with all due respect, Ma'am," Padilla said.


Hontiveros responded and said that the majority of members of the committee can make formal objections on the matter within seven days.

Under Section 18 of the Rules of Procedures Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation, a majority of all the members of the Committee may, however, reverse or modify the order of contempt within seven (7) days.

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