Topacio vows to convince Quiboloy to attend House hearing

Topacio to convince Quiboloy to attend House hearing

/ 07:57 PM March 12, 2024

Atty. Ferdinand Topacio ( file photo /Ryan Leagogo)

MANILA, Philippines — Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio has appealed to members of the House of Representatives to defer the implementation of the contempt order against Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) founder Apollo Quiboloy, saying that he will convince the pastor to show up in congressional hearings.

Topacio, at the tail end of the House committee on legislative franchises hearing on Tuesday, asked that he be given until Friday, March 15, to convince Quiboloy to attend the proceedings.


Quiboloy was cited for contempt earlier by the same panel, after he refused to attend hearings on the Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) issue. 


The KJC leader is accused of having ties to the network — which SMNI officials have constantly denied.

According to Topacio, he will be meeting with Quiboloy — whom he said is still in the Philippines — on Wednesday.

“While recognizing the powers of this committee to hold a person in contempt, may I make a final appeal, Mr. Chair, to defer the implementation of the contempt order until after I have advised my client, that is a very humble request from this representation, just a few days, and maybe we can submit something to clarify our position,” Topacio said.

“Then if it’s still the pleasure of the body to continue with it, then we will abide by it, just a deferment, not a revocation of the order of contempt, your Honor,” he added.

When asked by Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano as to what the panel can expect in that three-to-five day period, Topacio said that he will give it his best shot to convince Quiboloy to show up.

“As I intimated to this Honorable body because I cannot lie to it, I am under oath, I will be seeing my client tomorrow and I will try to advise him with respect to the order, your Honor, I will give it my best good faith effort and I say this not only under my oath before this committee, but under my oath as a lawyer and as a member of the Philippine bar,” Topacio said.


“With respect to that I cannot speak for the good pastor but your Honor, I will be seeing him and I will be advising him accordingly your Honors,” he added.

Surigao del Sur 2nd District Rep Johnny Pimentel, who moved for the subpoena against Quiboloy and who also asked that the pastor be cited for contempt, feared that this specific amount of time may be used to let Quiboloy escape the Philippines.

But Topacio noted that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a lookout order against Quiboloy — noting that the pastor could have fled country already if he wanted to.

“Atty. Topacio might be asking for a furlough, for a five-day furlough, but we know very well that Pastor Quiboloy at this point in time is already a flight risk.  So Pastor Quiboloy might be asking that he be given time so that […] he can get out of the country?” Pimentel asked.

 “Nasa Davao po ako, I’ll be back on Thursday.  I can call your Honor […] at the latest Friday your Honor.  With respect to the apprehension that he (Quiboloy) would be fleeing, there’s already a lookout bulletin, your Honor, issued, directed from the DOJ to the Immigration,” Topacio replied.

Topacio early in the hearing appealed that the contempt order against Quiboloy be deferred as they believe the pastor is not the best person to answer KJC’s alleged ties to SMNI.

Pimentel last February 7 moved that a subpoena be issued against Quiboloy after Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas complained that the KJC leader had been absent several times.

Brosas during that time wished to ask Quiboloy about him supposedly owning SMNI, claiming that the pastor was receiving preferential treatment from SMNI hosts.

SMNI lawyer Mark Tolentino said  thanking Quiboloy was the prerogative of the hosts, and it was part of their free speech.

 However, the panel’s members unanimously voted to cite Quiboloy for contempt, noting that it may set a dangerous precedent if the KJC founder is allowed to elude the House’ authority.

SMNI was initially probed by the House panel after Laban Kasama ang Bayan host Jeffrey Celiz wrongly claimed that Romualdez spent P1.8 billion for trips in 2023.

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.

This was disputed by House Secretary General Reginald Velasco, who clarified that the total travel cost for all House members and their staff from January 2023 to October 2023 was only P39.6 million. 

TAGS: Apollo Quiboloy, Ferdinand Topacio

© 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.