House panel to summon Quiboloy, warns of arrest

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives committee on legislative franchises yesterday decided to issue a subpoena to Pastor Apollo Quiboloy with regard to the defiant stance of his Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) despite a temporary shutdown order for violations of its legislative franchise. 

The committee, led by Parañaque 2nd District Rep. Gus Tambunting, carried the motion put forward by its vice chairman, Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Johnny Pimentel, to summon the self-styled “Appointed Son of God,” whose motion was seconded by Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas.

“We have to issue a subpoena to compel him to attend our next hearing,” Pimentel said.

He then issued a warning that should Quiboloy fail to attend, then they will be forced to cite him in contempt and therefore order his immediate arrest.

Quiboloy, who faces human trafficking and sex charges in the United States, sits as SMNI’s honorary chairman.

“We have invited him not once but several times already, but unfortunately, he has not attended our hearings,” Pimentel lamented, adding that it is the basis for the summons, aside from numerous violations of SMNI’s franchise that lawmakers have uncovered.

He said it is about time that Quiboloy, a Davao City-based evangelist, gives his side of the story.

Tambunting banged his gavel in approval after no one in the committee objected to the subpoena.

Brosas complained that while the National Telecommunications Commission has indefinitely suspended SMNI’s radio and television broadcasting operations, the Mindanao-based network still runs a number of online social media platforms.

Her colleagues in the militant Makabayan bloc, Reps. Raoul Manuel of Kabataan party-list and France Castro of ACT-Teachers, also complained against the social media presence of SMNI.

Manuel said even Speaker Martin Romualdez “was red-tagged.”

Manuel added that some SMNI anchors who have apologized for peddling fake news continue to dish out the same stuff.

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