Senate issues subpoena vs Quiboloy

Cristina Chi - Philstar.com
Senate issues subpoena vs Quiboloy
Photo shows Kingdom of Jesus Christ church founder Apollo Quiboloy.
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy Facebook Page

MANILA, Philippines — One of the most wanted alleged sexual traffickers in the United States is now being compelled to face the charges against him in both chambers of Philippine Congress.

The Senate has officially issued a subpoena against controversial preacher and Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder Apollo Quiboloy after his failure to show up to two hearings that aimed to uncover the details of the sexual abuse and forced labor charges against him and his church members.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who chairs the Senate committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality that is holding a probe on KOJC, confirmed on Monday that Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri has signed the subpoena.

Hontiveros issued the subpoena against Quiboloy after he did not attend the panel's first hearing. Quiboloy's legal counsel, Melanio Balayan, attended on his behalf. 

In her February 6 letter urging Zubiri to sign the subpoena. Hontiveros said that her office has received a number of "credible evidence of threats" on the lives of the witnesses who spoke about Quiboloy’s alleged sexual abuse of women during the first hearing in January.

These "constitute obstruction of a legitimate Senate inquiry," Hontiveros said.

In the first Senate hearing, two Ukrainian women who are former members of the KOJC had testified that Quiboloy raped them as part of his supposed church teachings, with one saying that she was violated as a minor. 

Quiboloy, who denies the charges against him, has insisted on not attending the Senate investigation into the alleged abuses within his church, saying that he will only do so "in a court of law."

A day before Hontiveros wrote to Zubiri, the House legislative franchises committee also issued a subpoena against Quiboloy for his failure to attend its hearings on SMNI -- a television network founded by KOJC. 

Quiboloy, who was indicted by a California court in 2021 for allegedly conspiring to engage in sex trafficking, has an active arrest warrant in the US issued Nov. 10, 2021, according to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation's website.

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