House subpoenas Quiboloy after snub of hearings | Inquirer News

House panel subpoenas Quiboloy after repeated snub of hearings

/ 03:13 PM February 07, 2024

PHOTO: Apollo Quiboloy. STORY: House panel subpoenas Quiboloy after repeated snub of hearings

Apollo Quiboloy


MANILA, Philippines — A House of Representatives panel issued a subpoena against Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder and leader Apollo Quiboloy who had repeatedly ignored the committee’s investigation to attend hearings.


During the hearing of the House committee on legislative franchises on Wednesday, Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Johnny Pimentel moved that a subpoena be issued against Quiboloy as the panel was hearing bills and resolutions related to Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI).


SMNI officials maintained in the past that Quiboloy was not the head of the network, but documents have shown that he used to lead the media company.

Pimentel made the motion after Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas suggested that it might be time to force Quiboloy to face the panel, as there were still questions that only he could answer.

“Anyway. Mr. Chair, we have several questions for Pastor Quiboloy Mr. Chair. I think it’s about time that we call for Pastor Quiboloy to attend the hearings and answer our questions, our specific questions because, Mr. Chair — maybe last time we requested it here — heads of agencies come here at Congress to answer our important questions,” Brosas said.

“And we would like to — maybe, it’s about time that we let him sit here and question Pastor Quiboloy directly regarding our concerns because it cannot be answered by an attorney only, Mr. Chair,” she added.

READ: Quiboloy dares Hontiveros to help accusers sue him


READ: Sect ‘pastorals,’ including 2 Ukrainians, cry sexual abuse vs Quiboloy

Motion for subpoena

Pimentel initially moved to issue a show-cause order against Quiboloy, but he amended his motion into a subpoena.

The lawmaker also warned that should Quiboloy fail to show up in the next hearing, he may be cited for contempt and an arrest order might be issued.

“Mr. Chair, that is correct, Representative Brosas. We have already invited — not only once and on several occasions — Pastor Apollo Quiboloy to attend this hearing, considering that there are so many issues that need to be clarified, especially since his name is with Swara Sug. So therefore, Mr. Chair, I move that this committee issue a show-cause order to Pastor Apollo Quiboloy on why he should not appear here,” Pimentel said.

“I would like to amend my motion, considering that this is very important. I’d like to move that we, this committee rather, issue a subpoena to Pastor Quiboloy to compel him to be present during the next hearing. And may we remind Attorney Mark Tolentino that after the subpoena, if Pastor Quiboloy does not appear, then we’ll be constrained to request for a warrant of arrest for him to appear here,” he added.

Preferential treatment

Brosas’ request for Quiboloy to present himself came after her question on why Quiboloy was getting preferential treatment from SMNI hosts if network lawyer Tolentino claimed he was not part of the network’s day-to-day operations.

Tolentino said thanking Quiboloy was the prerogative of the hosts and was part of their free speech.

“Up to what extent is Apollo Quiboloy’s influence in SMNI? What is his position in the company now?” Brosas asked.

“We already answered that, Mr. Chair. Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy is the honorary chairman of SMNI, and he’s not part of the day-to-day operations of the SMNI,” Tolentino said.

“Mr. Chair, why do they always say in each show, for example, with ‘Laban Kasama Ang Bayan,’ the hosts always thank Apollo Quiboloy? And I quote: ‘And also for our most beloved, most respected and good pastor who created, wrote, and delivered this program’. So every time that is the case, Mr. Chair, then you would tell me that his position is just this?” Brosas countered.

SMNI drew flak after “Laban Kasama ang Bayan” host Jeffrey Celiz wrongly claimed that Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez spent P1.8 billion on travel in just a year.

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The issue prompted the House committee to start a hearing, during which Secretary-General Reginald Velasco clarified that the entire House only spent P39.60 million for foreign trips from January to October 2023.

The developments eventually prompted the National Telecommunications Commission to suspend SMNI’s operations.

TAGS: Apollo Quiboloy, House of Representatives, Sonshine Media Network International

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