SC transfers Quiboloy cases from Davao to QC

SC transfers Quiboloy cases from Davao to QC

/ 05:35 AM May 29, 2024

Quiboloy lawyer says sect leader 'still in PH territory'

Fugitive televangelist Apollo Quiboloy —photo by Dennis Jay Santos/Inquirer Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines — Fugitive televangelist Apollo Quiboloy will have to face trial in Metro Manila instead of his home base of Davao City, after the Supreme Court ordered the transfer of his cases for sexual and child abuse, citing its mandate “to avoid a miscarriage of justice.”

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said its Second Division granted the request of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla to move the location of Quiboloy’s criminal cases from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Davao City to the Quezon City RTC.


Aside from the two charges originally filed in Davao, Quiboloy, the founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) sect, is facing a nonbailable case of human trafficking before the Pasig RTC, along with associates Jackielyn Roy, Cresente Canada, Paulene Canada, Ingrid Canada and Sylvia Cemanes.


READ: Failure to track down Quiboloy a bigger concern, says solon

The high tribunal noted that the sexual and child abuse cases in the Davao court involved public interest and that Quiboloy was a well-known religious leader and influential personality in the area.

These “compelling reasons” merited the transfer of trial venue, it said.

“As this could cause local biases and a strong possibility that witnesses cannot freely testify due to fear and influence of the accused, the Court found it prudent and judicious to order the transfer of the cases to Quezon City,” the Supreme Court said in a statement.

READ: Where on earth is Quiboloy?

3-days from notice

The high court ordered the Clerk of Court of Davao RTC Branch 12 to transmit the records of the two criminal cases to the Office of the Executive Judge of the Quezon City RTC within three days from notice.


“The Quezon City RTC Executive Judge was also directed to raffle the cases, upon receipt of the case records, among the judges in the station, who shall decide the cases with utmost dispatch,” it said.

According to the Supreme Court, Remulla requested the transfer of Quiboloy’s cases in Davao in a letter dated April 4, saying the charges against the preacher “[extend] beyond the local context, touching on broader national policies, public interest, and security concerns.”

The DOJ also cited the “preservation of integrity of the proceedings” as another reason for the transfer, arguing that there might likely be “local biases potentially affecting the trial’s impartiality in Davao City.”

At a press briefing on March 4, Remulla said there were “problems in Davao” and “threats being made” that prompted his request to the high court.

Aside from the charges in Philippine courts, Duterte’s spiritual adviser is also on the most wanted list of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation for conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, sex trafficking of children, and bulk cash smuggling.

On Saturday, Canada, Quiboloy’s coaccused and chair of Barangay Tamayong in Davao, turned over 21 firearms to the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to “dispel rumors that he or Pastor Quiboloy had a private army to protect” them from arrest.

Quiboloy’s lawyer, Isabelito Torreon, told the Inquirer that Canada’s license to own those firearms as a collector was not in question, nor was it revoked.

“This is to show to authorities that he (Canada) has no intention to use his guns to sow violence or terror, hence, there is no more need to apply for search warrant against his properties or that of Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy,” Torreon said in a text message.

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Earlier, Quiboloy turned over five of 19 firearms licensed in his name and claimed that the rest had already been sold to other gun owners. —with reports from Inquirer Research and Germelina Lacorte

TAGS: Apollo Quiboloy, QC RTC, Supreme Court

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