Arrest order vs Quiboloy in effect – House panel

Cecille Suerte Felipe, Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star
Arrest order vs Quiboloy in effect � House panel
Apollo Quiboloy A
FP / Manman Dejeto

MANILA, Philippines — The order for the arrest of Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOLC) pastor Apollo Quiboloy for contempt is already in effect, according to the House committee on legislative franchises.

Committee vice chairman Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel said the order took effect yesterday.

Pimentel said the panel had opted to hold off enforcing the arrest order upon the request of Quiboloy’s legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio, who told the lawmakers he would meet with the pastor in Davao on Wednesday.

But the panel, Pimentel said, changed its mind after Topacio failed to give them an update on the meeting.

“As expected, no feedback (from Topacio). I knew from the very beginning it was just a delaying tactic,” Pimentel said.

Topacio told “Storycon” on Cignal TV’s One News on Thursday that he and Quiboloy’s legal team met with the pastor in the Davao highlands on Wednesday, during which they discussed his “options” amid his possible arrest. Citing lawyer-client privilege, Topacio declined to say what the options are.

The panel cited Quiboloy in contempt and ordered his arrest after the self-proclaimed “appointed son of God” failed to appear at several hearings of the panel on the alleged franchise violations of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), the broadcasting arm of his group.

The committee was hearing SMNI’s franchise violations, including spreading fake news, red tagging and non-compliance with corporate rules.

The committee had conducted six hearings since November 2023 until last Tuesday when it voted to revoke SMNI’s congressional franchise.

In a letter dated March 6, Topacio asked committee chair and Parañaque Rep. Gus Tambunting to invite other SMNI officials instead of Quiboloy, claiming that the sect leader could not provide them with the information they need.

Topacio claimed that Quiboloy was no longer holding any official position with SMNI.

As a policy, individuals cited in contempt by the House of Representatives are held in a detention facility situated in a building near the south gate of the Batasan complex in Quezon City. 

NTC erred – KOJC

Meanwhile, KOJC counsel Rolex Suplico said the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) did not follow proper procedures and acted like an extension of the House of Representatives when it suspended SMNI indefinitely.

Suplico also lauded Sen. Robin Padilla for initiating an inquiry into the NTC order.

“The NTC became an extension of the House of Representatives. It should not do that, as it should exercise its quasi-judicial powers. It should act as a court, independent of the House of Representatives,” Suplico said.

Padilla has filed a resolution urging the Senate committee on public information and mass media, which he chairs, to investigate the issuance of the suspension against SMNI, which is run by Swara Sug Media Corp. of KOJC.

“It (NTC) has surrendered to the House of Representatives. It did not follow its own procedures,” Suplico added.

The House of Representatives has passed House Resolution 189 urging NTC to suspend the business of Swara Sug for alleged violation of the terms and conditions of its franchise under Republic Act 11422.

The resolution lists multiple violations reportedly committed by SMNI in its media business. The issue stemmed from airing by SMNI hosts Lorraine Badoy and Jeffrey Celiz of allegations that Speaker Martin Romualdez spent P1.8 billion on foreign travel between January and October 2023.

Suplico said the indefinite suspension stands on flimsy ground because NTC based it on SNMI’s reported violation of a 30-day suspension order earlier slapped against the network.

“During the hearing of the House committee on legislative franchise, it cited a report from the regional director that we violated the 30-day suspension as it was alleged that the SMNI station in Roxas City operated on Dec. 27 (2023). Based on the affidavit of our technician, he did not operate and that he followed the 30-day suspension order,” he said, adding that the suspension order does not cover digital media and cable television.

“Only covered by the indefinite suspension order is the franchise, including free-to-air television and free-to-air transmission. The other platforms are not affected, like if you place your content on cable television, if you use other platforms like YouTube,” the SMNI lawyer said.

“I believe that all the issues will be cleared and we will have justice under the committee on public information chaired by Sen. Robinhood Padilla,” Suplico said.

Detain Quiboloy

Sen. Risa Hontiveros, for her part, said she would continue to press for Quiboloy’s detention.

“I will request the SP (Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri) to approve the warrant of arrest,” said Hotinveros, chair of the Senate committee on women.

“Quiboloy will only be detained in the Senate for not attending the hearing and not for the serious allegations made by the victims against him,” she said.

“They (Quiboloy’s camp) still request that the determination of the show cause order be taken up in plenary. Actually, there is no show-cause order in the Rules. It was a courtesy extended to Sen. Robin, at the request of the SP. If the show cause order is not in the rules, much less the rules won’t require a hearing in plenary to resolve the show cause order,” she added.

Hontiveros’ committee is investigating the alleged sexual abuses committed by Quiboloy on former members of his religious sect.

The KOJC, through its lawyer, said the Senate issuance of a show cause order was tantamount to usurpation of judicial function.

In a 19-page Compliance and Legal Justification submitted to Zubiri and Hontiveros, lawyer Melanio Elvis Balayan said the order contained in Senate Resolution 884 was brazenly incriminatory as it categorically declared the guilt of Quiboloy.

“The refusal of Pastor Quiboloy is not a sign of disrespect to the honorable Senate nor a disregard of its powers and functions but is also purely based on the fact that the criminal accusations against him can only be legitimately settled before the competent courts,” Balayan said in his reply to the show cause order.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with