On Tuesday, the Senate Committee for Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality compelled Pastor Apollo Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) with a subpoena for not attending the inquiry into numerous allegations aimed at the faith group.
“Dahil nakapagpadala po ng dalawang imbitasyon, one by LBC and one by registered mail, pero walang sagot at attendance ni Pastor Quiboloy, the chair would move to subpoena Pastor Apollo Carreon Quiboloy for the next hearing of this committee,” Senator Risa Hontiveros said.
Senator Hontiveros revealed that Quiboloy has forwarded a correspondence to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri. Without divulging specifics, she mentioned the letter is now part of the Senate committee’s official records. KOJC is associated with widespread human trafficking, rape, sexual misconduct, violence, and child abuse allegations.
Even though Quiboloy had his attorney present at the trial, Hontiveros stated that the pastor’s lawyer wouldn’t matter, since the leader himself ought to respond to the claims from those harmed.
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Senate subpoenas Pastor Apollo Quiboloy
“Kayo Pastor ang dapat humarap sa susunod na pagdinig because you are being subpoenaed by this committee. Hindi po kayo anak ng diyos na exempt sa awtoridad ng estado,” Hontiveros said in her closing statement.
“Kahit ang Korte Suprema ay walang kapangyarihang pigilan ang ganitong inquiries ng Senado, at ang pag-require sa mga taong humarap dito… like any ordinary witness, you, of course, can invoke the right against self-incrimination only when and as the [possibly] incriminating question is propounded,” she added.
Hontiveros also emphasized that the investigation is not targeting religion but examining how belief is exploited to harm Filipinos. She mentioned that more witnesses are expected in the upcoming Senate hearing on KOJC. Furthermore, Hontiveros directed that three additional people, identified in the victims’ accounts, be summoned to the inquiry.
In December, Hontiveros submitted the proposed Senate Resolution 884, aiming to probe charges against KOJC to support legislative improvements. This will assess if current laws against human trafficking encompass widespread activities disguised by religious groups.