Senate probe on Quiboloy set for January 23, 2024

By HANA BORDEY, GMA Integrated News

The Senate is set to begin its probe into the alleged criminal activities of Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) founder Apollo Quiboloy on January 23, 2024.

A copy of the notice of the hearing on the self-proclaimed "Appointed Son of God" issued on December 13 was shared to reporters by the office of Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros, chair of the committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality.

Hontiveros' office likewise shared a copy of the senator's letter to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla dated December 13 formally seeking the issuance of an Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) for Quiboloy "so he will be in the Philippines during the hearing date."

"In the interest of justice and due process, it is my strong desire to ensure that he will be physically present in the Senate for the hearing," Hontiveros said in her letter to Remulla.

Last Tuesday, Hontiveros urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue an ILBO for Quiboloy to prevent him from “escaping accountability.”

But DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano said on Wednesday that the department will “err on the side of caution” before issuing an ILBO.

Mico Clavano said that a preliminary investigation is one of the requirements in the filing of an ILBO.

“Ang sa amin lang po ayaw lang talaga namin na magkaroon ng precedent na ganoon. Because that is already infringing sa aming tanaw, medyo infringement na po ‘yan sa isang— ‘yung mga karapatan ng tao natin. And it might be subject to abuse kasi na wala pang investigation, meron nang ILBO,” Clavano said.

(For us [at DOJ], we do not want to create a precedent. Because that is already infringing, in our point of view, it’s already somewhat of an infringement of our citizen’s human rights. And it might be subject to abuse since while there’s no investigation, there’s already an ILBO.)


Clavano also explained that an ILBO does not prevent a person from leaving the country.

He said it is only a “monitoring mechanism” where the government is alerted whenever individuals on the list will enter or leave the country.

It was also on Monday when Hontiveros filed the resolution to probe Quiboloy who is accused of large-scale human trafficking, rape, sexual abuse and violence, and child abuse which she said were done “under the cover of a religious organization.”

She also delivered a privilege speech where she shared the accounts of the alleged victims of Quiboloy’s criminal activities.

Responding to these allegations, Quiboloy's legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio dared Hontiveros to file cases and bring this to the courts.

“Ang ginagawa po ni Senator Risa Hontiveros ay isang panlilinlang sapagkat ang sinasabi po niya, gusto niyang imbestigahan itong mga alegasyon ng human trafficking, may mga testigo raw siya laban kay Pastor Quiboloy at sa grupo ng Kingdom of Jesus Christ, ngunit itong bagay na ito ay hindi po dapat sa Senado iniimbestigahan,” Topacio said.

(What Senator Risa Hontiveros is doing is deception because she wants to investigate these allegations of human trafficking supposedly committed by Pastor Quiboloy and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ even though these matters should not be investigated in the Senate.)

Meanwhile, Senator Robin Padilla opposed the investigation against Quiboloy's  alleged criminal activities which he emphasized are "cases pursued by the Americans."

"Kami, ako lalo, nangangati ako pagka kaso ng puti e... Na-o-offend si [Andres] Bonifacio. Ayoko talaga. Pero kung sa Pilipinas, wala akong magagawa. Pilipino 'yon e. Kung pagbabasehan natin ay korte ng ibang bansa, no way," Padilla said.

(I'm allergic to cases pursued by the Americans because it offends our hero, Andres Bonifacio. I don't support that. But if that is the case in the Philippines, I won't oppose it. If we will base it on the allegations raised in foreign courts, no way.)  —VAL, GMA Integrated News