Zubiri vows to sign subpoena vs. Quiboloy

By LLANESCA T. PANTI,GMA Integrated News

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Friday said he would sign the subpoena against Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in connection with the ongoing Senate probe on the religious leader's alleged human trafficking and sex-related crimes.

"I have been told by my staff that the issuance of the subpoena for Pastor Apollo Quiboloy has been prepared and is now ready for my signature. I am just in the Visayas at the moment for several engagements, but I will sign all these documents upon my return," Zubiri said.

Speaking at the Kapihan sa Senado on Thursday, Hontiveros said she already sent a formal letter to Zubiri requesting the issuance of the subpoena against Quiboloy. Asked why the subpoena remains pending, Hontiveros replied: "Mas maigi itanong niyo kay SP (Senate President) para kanilang maipaliwanag."

(It's better that you ask SP so they can explain.)

"In the meantime, hindi na kayang hintayin ng komite (Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality) 'yung subpoena. Itutuloy po namin 'yung pagdinig, lalo na mayroon kaming second batch of witnesses," Hontiveros added.

(In the meantime, the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality cannot wait for the subpoena any longer. We will continue with the hearing. We already have a second batch of witnesses.)

Zubiri said that any delay was not intended, noting that "work has piled up" amid the recent "attacks against the Senate and our democratic institutions due to the fake People's Initiative."

The Senate President was referring to the signature campaign for the people's initiative, which asks voters if they are in favor of amending Article 17, Section 1 of the Philippine Constitution to allow all members of Congress to jointly vote on proposed constitutional amendments via constituent assembly.


Senators have opposed the people's initiative, given that the Senate, which is composed of 24 legislators, would be outnumbered by over 300 members of the House in a joint vote.

"The noise has only just settled down during these last few days. In the middle of our efforts to protect the institution, a lot of our administrative work has piled up in my office, including paperwork that needs my signature," Zubiri said.

In December, Hontiveros filed the proposed Senate Resolution 884 that seeks to investigate the accusations against KOJC in aid of legislation to "allow us to determine whether our updated human trafficking laws are able to cover large-scale and systemic acts of trafficking done under the cover of a religious organization."

"Apollo Quiboloy, who styles himself as the 'Appointed Son of God and the leader of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ The Name Above Every Name (KOJC)', allegedly demands strict obedience from his full-time followers through brainwashing, psychological manipulation and constant threats of eternal damnation," Hontiveros said in her resolution.

In a privilege speech last year, Hontiveros bared accounts of victims who were allegedly exploited or sexually abused by Quiboloy.

Responding to the resolution, Quiboloy's legal counsel dared Hontiveros to bring the allegations to the proper courts and dismissed the Senate probe as mere "deception." — VDV, GMA Integrated News