Fact checks on public officials

FACT CHECK: Hontiveros did not order subpoena for Sara Duterte


This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

FACT CHECK: Hontiveros did not order subpoena for Sara Duterte
A subpoena was only issued against Kingdom of Jesus Christ leader Apollo Quiboloy over his alleged human rights abuses

Claim: Senator Risa Hontiveros has issued a subpoena to Vice President Sara Duterte in relation to recent controversies surrounding Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader Apollo Quiboloy.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this:  As of writing, the YouTube video bearing the claim has gained 5,464 views, 269 likes, and 125 comments. 

The video’s title reads: “VP Sara isa-subpoena na rin ni Hontiveros dahil sa witness kay Quiboloy? DDS umalma!” 

(VP Sara will also be subpoenaed by Hontiveros because of the witness in the Quiboloy case? DDS dismayed!)

Senate vs. Quiboloy: A subpoena was only issued against Quiboloy, not the Vice President. On February 19, the Senate issued a subpoena to the controversial preacher, who ignored the upper chamber’s hearings led by Hontiveros on his alleged human rights abuses. 

During a Senate committee hearing last February 19, former KOJC members came forward to claim “sexual abuses, human trafficking, labor exploitation, and other physical abuses” in the religious group and its media arm, the Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI). 

Witness testimony: The video’s narrator highlighted the testimony of a witness named “Rene,” who claimed to have seen Duterte and her father, former president Rodrigo Duterte, receiving various firearms from Quiboloy after leaving Glory Mountain, a vast property in Davao City owned by the controversial religious leader. 

Minsan po pumupunta doon si former president Rodrigo Duterte at former Davao mayor Sara Duterte. ‘Pag umalis na po sila sa Glory Mountain, dala na po nila ang mga bag na siya pong mga bag na nilalagyan po ng mga baril,” the witness said.

(Sometimes, former president Rodrigo Duterte and former Davao mayor Sara Duterte go there. When they leave Glory Mountain, they take bags with them that contain guns.)

During the hearing, Hontiveros questioned the witness on his statement, but did not indicate any intention to issue a subpoena against Duterte.

In December 2023, a Rappler report revealed that the former president had registered about 358 firearms two weeks before his presidential term ended.

Response to allegations: In a statement on February 21, the Vice President chose not to directly address the allegation, brushing it off as just another attempt by presidential aspirants to discredit her. 

She neither confirmed nor denied the visit to Glory Mountain, instead saying she predicts “more cases, investigations, witnesses, allegations, attacks, and harangues” against her in the lead up to the 2028 presidential elections.

Quiboloy has also slammed the Senate inquiry, accusing Hontiveros of violating his constitutional rights. In January, an audio recording surfaced of Quiboloy calling the Senate’s inquiry “bogus.” 

In 2022, Quiboloy and two of his associates, Teresita Dandan and Helen Panilag, were included on the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most-wanted list. Andrei Santos/Rappler.com

Andrei Santos is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!