Senate panel insists on issuance of arrest order vs Quiboloy

Senate panel insists on issuance of arrest order vs Quiboloy

/ 01:26 PM March 18, 2024

PHOTO: Sen. Risa Hontiveros and Apollo Quiboloy. STORY: Senate panel insists on issuing arrest order vs Quiboloy

Sen. Risa Hontiveros and Apollo Quiboloy. (File photos, respectively, by NIÑO JESUS / Philippine Daily Inquirer and from the official page of Sen. Christopher Go)

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Women has junked Apollo Quiboloy’s appeal to “recall” and “set aside” the show cause order and subpoenas issued to him in connection with the allegations being hurled at him.

Instead, the committee on Monday pressed for the issuance of an arrest order against the religious leader.


“Once again, I request for the Senate president to issue an arrest order against Apollo C. Quiboloy. He must show up. He must respect the institution of the Senate,” Sen. Risa Hontiveros, head of the panel, said in a press conference.


Her committee is leading a probe into Quiboloy’s alleged crimes including sexual abuse, human trafficking, and forced labor among members of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Despite Quiboloy’s appeals, Hontiveros ruled that the religious leader’s explanation of why he should not be arrested  was “nowhere near satisfactory.”

“They did nothing but rehash previous arguments they made for not attending our Senate hearings,” Hontiveros said.

The panel’s ruling indicated that among the arguments raised by Quiboloy’s camp was whether or not the investigation being conducted by the Senate was in aid of legislation.

To this, Hontiveros repeated her previous explanations, saying that the hearings “surfaced potential gaps in legislation.”


Among these gaps are the question of “consent” in rape and sexual abuse in the context of secretive charismatic religious organizations; the treatment of “religious volunteers” in labor and occupational safety laws; and liabilities for human trafficking and other capital crimes when religious freedom is invoked.

According to Hontiveros, Quiboloy’s team likewise insisted that the resolution that prompted the probe is “incriminatory and violates due process of [the] respondent.”

But Hontiveros maintained that neither she nor any other senator ever claimed to be “the judge” because the Senate is not a court.

“A Senate resolution has no effect and force of law and can make no such legal determination of guilt, or deprive anyone, including Quiboloy, of life, liberty or property as a result of its material averments or findings,” she said.

She likewise debunked claims that the Senate was “not the proper forum to hear controversies surrounding the respondent,” maintaining that a similar issue had been dealt with by the Supreme Court.

“In the 2009 case of Romero et al. v. Estrada and Senate Committee on Labor and Employment, the Supreme Court said that despite the pendency of a criminal or administrative case, the Senate is allowed to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation, and very clearly held that “the Court has no authority to prohibit a Senate committee from requiring persons to appear and testify before it in connection with an inquiry in aid of legislation in accordance with its duly published rules of procedure,” she explained.

What now?

Citing these instances, Hontiveros said the contempt ruling against Quiboloy was only proven to be necessary.

“Even after the March 5, 2024 contempt citation, upheld on March 12, 2024, Quiboloy continues to brazenly taunt and make a mockery of the committee and, consequently, the Philippine Senate, by releasing through his supporters a list of 17 conditions before he appears,” Hontiveros said.

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In the same press conference, Hontiveros said the committee was only awaiting Quiboloy’s lawyers to receive its ruling.

She said that, once the ruling was received, she would follow up on her previous request to the Senate leadership to have the religious leader arrested.

In a separate message to reporters, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said he would “review the reply of Pastor Quiboloy and Senator Risa” within the day so that decision could be issued soonest.

TAGS: Apollo Quiboloy, Risa Hontiveros

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