PNP readies raps vs Quiboloy supporters

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
PNP readies raps vs Quiboloy supporters
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.
Sunshine Media

MANILA, Philippines — Police are eyeing criminal complaints against six followers of fugitive pastor Apollo Quiboloy for attempting to attack policemen serving an arrest warrant for the founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC), who is wanted for cases of child abuse and human trafficking.

Cases of obstruction of justice are being readied against the suspects who wielded bolos when they confronted lawmen who entered the Glory Mountain in Barangay Tamayong in Davao City on Tuesday, according to Philippine National Police chief information officer Col. Jean Fajardo.

Davao region police office spokesperson Maj. Catherine dela Rey said she has yet to receive an update if the complaints were already filed against the suspects.

Meanwhile, Sen. Imee Marcos has described Davao city as a war zone in the police search for Quiboloy.

“I was actually in Davao that day, and was shocked at the sheer number of SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) and CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) in the airport,” Marcos said in a press conference.

The senator said she even saw snipers on top of buildings, making Davao look like a war zone.

“It will really make one nervous because Davao City just became a war zone. Was that really necessary?” Marcos said.

She asked for calm and asked the police not to resort to violence in searching for Quiboloy.

“There is no need to use threats and violence,” Marcos said.

Former president Rodrigo Duterte has earlier criticized the actions of the Special Action Force, CIDG and other police units who went to the properties of Quiboloy to serve warrants of arrest against him and five of his associates, calling it an “overkill.”

For its part, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is urging Quiboloy to just surrender and face charges in court.

DOJ Undersecretary Raul Vasquez issued the call after the alleged display of force in serving the arrest warrant against the pastor.

Vasquez said it “could have been avoided if the good pastor would submit himself to the jurisdiction of the court similar to former congressman (Arnolfo) Teves.”

“If the charges have no basis at all, then the courts of law will declare them as innocent and they would have all the reasons in the world to declare the charges baseless and worthless,” Vasquez said in a statement.

Police raiding teams swooped down on Quiboloy’s three properties: the KOJC compound in Buhangin district, the 25-hectare Glory Mountain in Barangay Tamayong and the adjacent 50-hectare Prayer Mountain on Tuesday.

The PNP maintained that police officers exercised restraint and maximum tolerance, adding members of the police contingent did not retaliate when Quiboloy’s supporters used a water cannon against them.

Fajardo said they are not even inclined to file cases against the people who used a water cannon on the police officers.

The PNP and Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos have both stressed that police officers who conducted the raid followed standard operating procedures.

The raid was likewise properly planned and the operation prioritized everyone’s safety, they said.

Quiboloy’s high-profile nature and his thousands of followers prompted the PNP to deploy hundreds of police officers for the operation to prevent violence from erupting. – Daphne Galvez, Marc Jayson Cayabyab

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