Quiboloy's lawyer: Senate must 'not continue to abuse their power'

Quiboloy’s lawyer says Senate should ‘not continue to abuse their power’

/ 11:22 AM February 26, 2024

Quiboloy's lawyer says Senate should 'not continue to abuse their power'

FILE PHOTO: Atty. Ferdinand Topacio speaks during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay, on May 31, 2023. Topacio, legal counsel of religious sect leader Apollo Quiboloy, said Monday, February 26, 2-24, that the Senate should “not continue to abuse their power” on the matter of issuing subpoenas. | PHOTO; INQUIRER.net/Ryan Leagogo

MANILA, Philippines — The legal counsel of religious sect leader Apollo Quiboloy said Monday that the Senate should “not continue to abuse their power” on the matter of issuing subpoenas.

Atty. Ferdinand Topacio cited the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s “abuse of discretion” in issuing contempt and arrest orders versus resource persons in the controversial Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp. (Pharmally) Senate inquiry.


In November 2023, the high court said that the Senate failed to respect the rights of people appearing in legislative inquiries on Pharmally. The Senate probed into the Pharmally controversy concerning government procurement of medical supplies for the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.


“Our Senate, particularly Senator (Risa) Hontiveros, should already learn to listen to the pronouncements of our Supreme Court and not continue to abuse their power,” Topacio said in Filipino during a radio interview at Radyo 630.

“I hope our senators will know their place. There are indeed some who abuse the power to subpoena,” he added.

The Senate issued subpoenas to Quiboloy as the panel of Senator Risa Hontiveros is investigating alleged crimes of the self-proclaimed “Appointed Son of God” and his Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) sect.

Hontiveros said that she would cite Quiboloy for contempt and have him arrested if he continued to snub the Senate hearing on March 5.

READ: Hontiveros on Quiboloy: ‘I’ll cite him for contempt, have him arrested’

Quiboloy’s camp accepted the Senate subpoena on February 23, according to Hontiveros’s office.


Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has required Quiboloy to appear on March 12 for a separate investigation on the alleged violations of the KJC-owned Sonshine Media Network Inc.

House Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. said last week that Quiboloy must obey Congress’ subpoenas and attend hearings.

READ: Quiboloy’s camp receives Senate subpoena

He also said that Quiboloy should attend the March 12 hearing of the House committee on legislative franchises and emphasized that the pastor is not above the law.

Topacio, however, refused to give a definitive answer when asked if his client will appear in the hearing if allowed to do so even through video conference.

“We’ll cross the bridge when we get there,” he replied.

READ: House deputy speaker: Quiboloy must attend SMNI inquiry

He then reiterated that congressional hearings should be in aid of legislation, stressing that Senate inquiries are not trials. He again urged the senators to file a case against Quiboloy before the court.

“Why are they turning this into a trial by publicity when the Senate is not even a court?” Topacio asked.

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In a previous 36-minute audio statement, Quiboloy said he will not attend any “bogus hearing” with “bogus witnesses,” referring to the Senate inquiry led by Hontiveros.

TAGS: Apollo Quiboloy, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, Senate

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