SC: Quiboloy arrest warrant remains in effect

Daphne Galvez - The Philippine Star
SC: Quiboloy arrest warrant remains in effect
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.
Sunshine Media

MANILA, Philippines — The arrest order issued by the Senate against Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader Apollo Quiboloy is still in effect as the Supreme Court has yet to decide on the petition of the preacher asking the SC to stop the enforcement of the arrest.

The SC asked the Senate to comment on the petition of Quiboloy that questioned the validity of the Senate order for his arrest for contempt, and asked for its nullification, according to SC spokesperson Camille Sue Mae Ting yesterday.

The SC gave the Senate 10 days upon receipt of notice to submit its comment.

“We are awaiting the comment of the respondents,” Ting said in a press conference.

Named respondents in the petition were Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and the Senate sergeant-at-arms.

Ting clarified that the SC, in asking the Senate to comment on the petition, did not deny the petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO).

With this, the Senate arrest warrant is “valid and outstanding.”

“All they [SC] want is to find out the side of the Senate regarding the issuance of the TRO,” she said.

The Senate issued the arrest order against Quiboloy over his refusal to appear before the chamber’s committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality – chaired by Hontiveros – to answer allegations of human trafficking, rape, sexual abuse and violence leveled against him and his sect by former members.

In his petition before the SC, Quiboloy sought a TRO to stop the Senate from implementing the arrest order as well as from demanding the KOJC leader’s attendance at Senate hearings.

Quiboloy’s counsel argued the Senate inquiry violates the preacher’s constitutional rights to due process and against self-incrimination, adding that the proceedings “do not serve any legislative purpose” and that the Senate probe was tantamount to usurpation of judicial functions.

The Senate hearings were also “unjust,” as the chamber had already concluded that Quiboloy was guilty of the crimes attributed to him.

In a separate statement, Hontiveros said she is ready to comply with the directive of the SC and submit a comment on Quiboloy’s petition.

“While we have yet to receive and read the order, we certainly will comply with the directive of the SC, cognizant of the principle of separation of powers and with only the highest respect for our institutions,” she noted.

“I am hopeful that this principle will serve as a guide for us all, including for fugitive Quiboloy,” she added.

Face the music

Former Senate president Franklin Drilon said Quiboloy should face the music and heed directives for him to appear before the Senate following the SC’s refusal to grant a TRO.

Drilon emphasized the significance of the SC’s refusal to grant a TRO to Quiboloy, saying it reinforces the constitutional authority of the Senate to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.

“Quiboloy should accord due respect to the ruling of the Supreme Court and the processes of the Senate, as upheld by the SC,” he said.

Drilon also stressed that the ruling respects the authority of the Senate to issue an arrest order against Quiboloy, which is necessary for the performance of its mandate.

He added that Quiboloy, like any other citizen, is subject to the processes of the Senate.

Drilon said Quiboloy should comply with the Senate’s directives, cooperate with the ongoing investigation and testify before the committee investigating, in aid of legislation, allegations on sexual abuses.

Quiboloy continues to evade arrest as he remains nowhere to be found in any of the locations visited by police. – Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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