House deputy speaker: Quiboloy must attend SMNI inquiry

House deputy speaker: Quiboloy must attend SMNI inquiry

/ 01:28 PM February 23, 2024

PHOTO: Apollo Quiboloy STORY: House deputy speaker: Quiboloy must attend SMNI inquiry

Apollo Quiboloy must obey Congress subpoenas and attend the probe into the possible franchise violations of  Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI). (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) founder and televangelist Apollo Quiboloy must obey Congress’ subpoenas and attend hearings.

House Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. issued the reminder to the beleaguered sect leader, stressing that even a self-proclaimed “Appointed Son of God ” is not above the law.


Gonzales said Quiboloy should attend the March 12 hearing of the House committee on legislative franchises, which investigates alleged violations of KJC-owned Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI).


READ: Quiboloy’s camp receives Senate subpoena

SMNI officials have maintained that Quiboloy is not affiliated with the network, but lawmakers believed it would be better for him to appear during the inquiry to address the questions personally.

“Magkita-kita po tayo Pastor Quiboloy sa March 12 (Pastor Quiboloy, let’s meet on March 12),” Gonzales said in a statement Friday.  “We remind Pastor Quiboloy that he must comply with the subpoena, or we will have no choice but to hold him in contempt and proceed with his arrest.”

“No one is above the law. Pastor Quiboloy is not exempt from the law,” he added.

On February 7, Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep. Johnny Pimentel moved that a subpoena be issued against Quiboloy after Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas complained that the KJC leader has been absent several times already despite a pressing need for him to answer questions about SMNI’s ownership.


READ: House panel subpoenas Quiboloy after repeated snub of hearings

Brosas asked SMNI legal counsel Mark Tolentino why Quiboloy received preferential treatment from SMNI hosts if the pastor 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.

The House inquiry into SMNI came after Laban Kasama ang Bayan host Jeffrey Celiz wrongly claimed last October that Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez had P1.8 billion in travel expenses in just a year.

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.

Eventually, hearings revealed possible violations of the franchise given to SMNI under Republic Act No. 11422. According to Pimentel, they are looking at three possible issues:

  • Section 4 mandates SMNI or Swara Sug Media Corporation — the legal name of SMNI — to “provide at all times sound and balanced programming”
  • Section 10 mandates SMNI to inform Congress about the sale of the company to other owners or other major changes
  • Section 11 mandates the SMNI to offer at least 30 percent of its stock to the public

READ: Surigao lawmaker wants SMNI franchise revoked

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

The Senate, which is also probing Quiboloy for his alleged sex-related crimes, also issued a subpoena against the pastor. However, Quiboloy said in a message aired over social media last Wednesday that he is in hiding because there is allegedly a plan to have him killed.

Quiboloy also criticized President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Romualdez during the more than 30-minute video, even daring both officials to resign.

TAGS: Apollo Quiboloy, Kingdom of Jesus Christ, SMNI inquiry, Sonshine Media Network International

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.