Filtered By: Topstories

Quiboloy camp to ask SC to reconsider transfer of cases to QC

Quiboloy camp to ask SC to reconsider transfer of cases to QC

The camp of Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) founder Apollo Quiboloy on Wednesday said they are eyeing to file a motion asking the Supreme Court to reconsider the transfer of Quiboloy’s criminal cases from Davao City to Quezon City.

“We will try to file a most respectful motion for reconsideration to the Supreme Court,” Atty. Israelito Torreon, one of Quiboloy’s legal counsels, said in a message to reporters.

This was after the High Court granted the request to move the venue of Quiboloy’s two criminal cases to a Quezon City Regional Trial Court, saying it found compelling reasons to justify the transfer as the cases involve public interest with the accused being influential in the area.

The SC said Quiboloy’s influence could cause local biases and may prevent witnesses from testifying freely due to fear and his influence.

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.

For their part, Torreon said they were surprised by the ruling, claiming that there may have been a violation of due process as they never heard about the matter.

“It was decided based only on the unfounded and unsubstantiated claims of bias in Davao City courts which, if analyzed properly, may actually constitute a slight on the local courts in Davao City and may be interpreted as an attack on the judiciary as a whole,” he said.

“Such claims tend to diminish the confidence of the public in our judicial system just because of locational concerns,” he added.

Further, Torreon said the transfer will place great burden on the six accused.

“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,” he said.

The lawyer, however, said that they will oblige should the SC stick to its ruling.

When asked for comment, SC spokesperson Atty. Camille Ting said the Office of the Court Administrator dispensed some of the requirements on the transfer of cases, such as the need for comment from concerned judges and parties “in view of the urgent nature of the request and the involvement of public interest.”

Ting said this has been done by the SC in the past, including the transfer of the cases involving the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo in March last year. 

Meanwhile, in a separate statement, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla welcomed the decision of the court, saying it is a major breakthrough in the pursuit of justice.

Remulla was the one who requested for the transfer.

“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 said.

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. — RSJ/VBL, GMA Integrated News