Quiboloy to ask SC to reconsider transfer of Davao case

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Quiboloy to ask SC to reconsider transfer of Davao case
Doomsday preacher Apollo Quiboloy.

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of fugitive doomsday preacher Apollo Quiboloy said that they will appeal to the Supreme Court (SC) its decision to transfer the child and sexual abuse cases in Davao City to a Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Quezon City.

Israelito Torreon, one of Quiboloy’s lawyers, said that the case was decided based only on “the unfounded and unsubstantiated claims of bias in Davao City courts” which may be interpreted as “an attack on the judiciary as a whole.”

“Such claims tend to diminish the confidence of the public in our judicial system just because of locational concerns,” Torreon said in a message to the members of the press.

Quiboloy's lawyer also said that they never heard about the ruling which violatesa due process.

"All such papers shall be submitted to the Office of the Court of Administrator for transmission to the Supreme Court. Such procedure has not been followed in this case as we did not even receive a copy of the petition itself," Torreon said. 

On May 28, the SC has granted the request of the Department of Justice to transfer the preacher’s cases from the Davao City RTC to Quezon City RTC.

The court said that it found compelling reasons to justify the transfer as the cases involve public interest with the accused being influential in the area.

Torreon also said that the transfer would be a financial burden to the accused and the other people involved. 

“The financial costs, hassles and inconvenience that will ensue upon the accused, their families, followers, supporters and most especially witnesses as a result of the transfer of venue may not have been brought to the attention of the Honorable Supreme Court,” Torreon said.

“However, if they will stick to their ruling then we will, of course, abide,” he added. 

On the part of the SC, its spokesperson Camille Ting said that the Office of the Court Administrator waived certain requirements for the transfer of cases, including the necessity for comments from involved judges and parties, due to the urgent nature of the request and its relevance to public interest, according to a report of GMA News. 

In a separate statement, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla lauded the approval of Quiboloy’s case transfer.

“This is a major breakthrough in our pursuit for justice as we relentlessly delve into the truth behind all these accusations against the embattled church leader,” Remulla said.

“Witnesses, judges, our prosecutors and their families will no longer have to fear for their safety, the wheels of justice can now freely roll through this journey,” he added.

On April 3, the Davao court issued a warrant of arrest against the preacher and his associates, namely Jackielyn Roy, Cresente Canada, Paulene Canada, Ingrid Canada and Sylvia Cemañes.

Aside from this, a non-bailable qualified human trafficking case is lodged before the Pasig City court against them. 

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