Marcos tells Quiboloy: Face Senate, House probes

Alexis Romero, Diana Lhyd Suelto - The Philippine Star
Marcos tells Quiboloy: Face Senate, House probes
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.
Sunshine Media

MANILA, Philippines —  Finally breaking his silence, President Marcos yesterday laughed off Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder Apollo Quiboloy’s allegation that he is conniving with the US to assassinate him, as he advised the pastor to attend congressional hearings.

Last week, Quiboloy, who is on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s most wanted list for allegedly orchestrating a sex trafficking operation, said he was in hiding because of a supposed threat to his life. He claimed that Marcos and First Lady Liza Marcos were handing him over to the US government.

In a 36-minute audio clip uploaded on YouTube on Feb. 21, Quiboloy alleged that the US is planning to send operatives to his compound to kidnap and kill him.

Quiboloy added that he is under surveillance by the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency, which he said could “pick” him up without going through an extradition process.

He also asked Marcos and his cousin, Speaker Martin Romualdez to resign, saying his voice would not be silenced until they are gone from power.

Asked by the media yesterday to react to Quiboloy’s accusations, Marcos laughed, noting that the cases against the pastor in the US were filed before he became president.

“I guess he’s very worried,” the President told reporters in Villamor Air Base before leaving for Australia. “Nobody wants to assassinate him. Why would he be assassinated? Why would anyone (want to cause his death)? I don’t understand what he is saying,” he said.

“Perhaps he is afraid because of what is happening. But... again, the best way to defuse that situation for him is to testify before the committees in the House and in the Senate,” he added.

Marcos said Quiboloy might face a bigger problem if he refuses to attend the congressional hearings.

“Well, I would just advise him that if he has something to say… he has an opportunity in the hearings both in the House and in the Senate to say his side of the story,” the President said.

“If he doesn’t show up, he might be cited for contempt and it would snowball. That would lead to bigger trouble. If he attends and answers all questions, then it will be done,” the Chief Executive added.

The Senate women, children, family relations and gender equality committee is investigating the human trafficking and sexual abuse allegations tied to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Quiboloy skipped the hearings conducted by the committee, prompting the Senate to issue a subpoena against him.

A separate probe at the House of Representatives is looking into the supposed violations of the Sonshine Media Network International franchise. Quiboloy is the honorary chairman of SMNI, according to the network’s lawyer Mark Tolentino.

The pastor, who described himself as the “appointed son of God,” has challenged lawmakers conducting the probe to charge him in court, accusing them of dragging him into politics.

‘Get arrested’?

Former president Rodrigo Duterte advised Quiboloy to “get yourself arrested,” as his former spiritual adviser is being compelled by the Senate to face the alleged sexual abuse charges against him.

“This is a free country, if you do not want to go there, get arrested. I give him the free choice,” Duterte said on Tuesday night.?“It is up to pastor if he wants to or not. It could lead to contempt if it is an unreasonable refusal,” Duterte said. The former president, however, also said that the Senate cannot compel an ordinary citizen to report to them.?At the same press conference, Duterte debunked allegations that he received a bag of guns from Quiboloy. – Marc Jayson Cayabyab

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