Invite Sara to shed light on gun allegation | Inquirer News

Senate urged: Invite VP Sara to shed light on gun allegation

/ 05:34 AM February 23, 2024

ACT Teacher Partylist Rep. France Castro

ACT Teacher Partylist Rep. France Castro —INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON

Senators should invite Vice President Sara Duterte to shed light on an allegation made during a Senate inquiry on Monday that she and her father, former President Rodrigo Duterte received a “bag of guns” from televangelist Apollo Quiboloy, an opposition House lawmaker said on Thursday.

“If I were the Senate, I would invite VP Sara to answer [the allegation]. This is a huge allegation. She should face the Senate and address the matter instead of beating around the bush,” ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro said during a press conference at the House of Representatives.


She was referring to a claim made by one of the witnesses who appeared at the hearing of the Senate women and children committee, which was investigating trafficking and sexual abuse allegations against Quiboloy, founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) sect.


During the Feb. 19 hearing, “Rene,” whose real name was not disclosed to protect his identity, said he had worked as a landscaper at Glory Mountain compound—Quiboloy’s “prayer mountain” near Mt. Apo.

Bag loaded with guns

He said he once saw the KJC leader carrying “a big bag loaded with different kinds of guns, which he would lay on the ground inside a tent beside his mansion.”

“Sometimes, [Rodrigo and Sara Duterte] would also go there. When they were leaving Glory Mountain, they carried the same bags containing the guns,” Rene added.

Responding to the accusation on Tuesday, Duterte said, in Filipino: “In the history of the Philippines, it has been a tradition to attack and throw all sorts of issues against the vice president. Perhaps, because the vice president serves as the primary obstacle to those dreaming of becoming president.”

“This is a time for me to be working. I will perform my sworn tasks. I will prioritize real challenges. I will prioritize the Filipino,” she said.


But Castro criticized the Vice President’s statement for not squarely addressing the allegation of receiving weapons from Quiboloy, her father’s spiritual adviser.

Not an explanation

“With due respect to the Vice President, her response had nothing to do with the allegation that she received a bag of firearms when she went to Quiboloy’s mansion or church accompanied by former President Duterte,” the Makabayan lawmaker said.

Castro said Duterte’s statement was not an explanation.

“What she said was like dodging the issue, that ‘It’s just the case when you’re Vice President,’ whatever. That’s not related to the allegations against her,” Castro said.

For her part, Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said Quiboloy should comply with the subpoenas issued to him and appear in both committee inquiries of the Senate and the House and to stop making excuses.

Brosas said Quiboloy’s claim that there were threats to his life was “just an excuse so he would not be compelled to appear before the Senate and the House.”

Words of a cornered man

“What’s clear to us is that he is being hunted by the United States Department of Justice,” she said.

“So all this hullabaloo about threats and all that are just words of a cornered man,” she added.

“He needs to face the accusations against him which are no joke. Rape and trafficking allegations … The victims need justice and he needs to surface,” Brosas said.

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During the Senate inquiry, Quiboloy was accused by a number of witnesses, including three women, of sexually abusing them as religious sacrifice. His sect was also allegedly involved in trafficking and child sexual exploitation among other criminal activities.

The self-proclaimed “Appointed Son of God” denied the charges, saying he had gone into hiding to escape persecution by the US and Philippine governments.

TAGS: Apollo Quiboloy, guns, Sara Duterte, Senate

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