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Senate committee seeks Quiboloy's arrest

Philstar.com
Senate committee seeks Quiboloy's arrest
Apollo Quiboloy
AFP / Manman Dejeto

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality has requested the arrest of pastor Apollo Quiboloy after his repeated failure to attend a probe on the sexual abuse complaints against him and his church members.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, committee chairperson, also cited the Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder in contempt after he ignored the subpoena issued by the Senate.

"This committee requests the Senate President to order his arrest so he may be brought to testify," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said that she received a letter from Quiboloy's legal counsel arguing that compelling him to face the Senate when it has "already pronounced" him guilty "would be violative of his constitutional right against self-incrimination and to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty."

Hontiveros maintained that the Senate has the power to summon individuals during its investigation of any issue.

"If we allow witnesses of the Senate to simply claim that appearing before a committee would violate his or her constitutional right to be presumed innocent and his or her right against self-incrimination, the Senate will no longer have the power to investigate," Hontiveros said in a mix of English and Filipino.

"These excuses will not work," the senator added.

The Department of Justice said on Monday that it had recommended the filing of charges of child abuse and human trafficking against Quiboloy. 

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