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SC allows transfer of Quiboloy cases from Davao to QC

SC allows transfer of Quiboloy cases from Davao to QC

The Supreme Court has allowed the transfer of the criminal cases filed against Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) founder Apollo Quiboloy from Davao City to Quezon City.

According to the court, it granted the request of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Monday to move the venue to a Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) to avoid a miscarriage of justice.

“The Court found compelling reasons to justify the transfer of venue as the cases involve public interest, with the accused, a well-known religious leader, being influential in the area,” the SC said in a statement.

“As this could cause local biases and a strong possibility that witnesses cannot freely testify due to fear and influence of the accused, the Court found it prudent and judicious to order the transfer of the cases to Quezon City,” it added.

The Court directed the Clerk of Court of Davao City RTC Branch 12 to forward the records of the cases to the Office of the Executive Judge of the QC RTC within three days from notice.

Quiboloy is facing charges under Section 5(b) of Republic Act 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation, and Discrimination Act and under Section 10(a) of the same act before the Davao court.

Meanwhile, the court directed the QC RTC Executive Judge to raffle off the cases.

It also ordered judges in Davao City and in other Mindanao stations to motu proprio order the transmittal of the records of future related cases involving Quiboloy and his co-accused to the Office of the Clerk of the QC RTC or the QC Metropolitan Trial Court.

When sought for comment, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, Quiboloy’s legal counsel, said he has yet to read the order.  

Quiboloy is also facing a non-bailable Qualified Human Trafficking charge under Section 4(a) of Republic Act No. 9208, as amended before a Pasig court.

He previously said that he was ready to face his cases provided that the Marcos administration give him written assurance that the United States would not interfere in his legal battle in the Philippines.

In response, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vowed that the proceedings against him will be fair. He also saw Quiboloy setting conditions for his surrender as "a bit of tail wagging the dog." — RSJ, GMA Integrated News