Apollo Quiboloy

Senate panel holds Quiboloy in contempt, Padilla objects

Herbie Gomez

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

Senate panel holds Quiboloy in contempt, Padilla objects

PROTEST. Members of the Kingdom Jesus Christ (KOJC) and supporters of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy gather outside the Senate to protest the hearing on the alleged abuses inside the KOJC, on March 5, 2024.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

Senator Risa Hontiveros asks Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri to order the arrest of embattled doomsday preacher Apollo Quiboloy so he could testify before her committee

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The Senate committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality cited on Tuesday, March 5, embattled preacher Apollo Quiboloy in contempt as the panel resumed its investigation into the alleged exploitation, torture, sexual abuse, and other offenses committed against former workers of the Davao-based religious group Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC).

Senate panel holds Quiboloy in contempt, Padilla objects

The committee also asked Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri to have Quiboloy arrested so he could be brought before the panel to testify.

As the hearing was ongoing, Quiboloy’s followers gathered outside the Senate to protest what they called injustice against their leader, whom they believed to be divine. Quiboloy has styled himself as the “appointed son of God,” openly claiming that there is no salvation without him.

The committee’s chairperson, Senator Risa Hontiveros, ruled to hold Quiboloy in contempt after the Davao City-based preacher failed to appear before the Senate panel despite a subpoena served by the Senate sergeant-at-arms through one of his lawyers, Marie Dinah Tolentino-Fuentes, on February 22.

CONTEMPT. Senator Risa Hontiveros, chairperson of Senate committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality, cites Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in contempt when the latter failed to attend the panel’s public inquiry of his alleged abuses, on March 5, 2024

Hontiveros had earlier warned that she would be forced to have Quiboloy arrested if he continued to defy the Senate’s summons.

“This committee requests the Senate President to order his arrest so that he may be brought to testify,” she said.

Padilla objects

The hearing was briefly suspended shortly after Senator Robinhood Padilla arrived to join Senators Hontiveros and Aquilino Pimentel Jr. When it resumed, Padilla, without providing a clear reason, placed on record his objection to Hontiveros’ ruling to hold the controversial pastor in contempt .

Hontiveros said Senate rules provide that a majority of the members of the Senate committee, in this case eight, has seven days to overturn the contempt ruling.

The committee’s members include Senator Nancy Binay, who serves as the vice chairperson, and senators Pia Cayetano, Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe, Imee Marcos, Raffy Tulfo, Christopher Lawrence Go, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Mark Villar, and Padilla.

The committee also has ex officio members: senators Loren Legarda, Joel Villanueva, and Pimentel.

Quiboloy’s whereabouts have remained unclear but in a previous statement, he said he was in hiding, claiming that he was marked for assassination by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The US embassy in Manila has not directly responded to the preacher’s claim that there was a plot to kill him, but its February 21 statement read: “For more than a decade, Apollo Quiboloy engaged in serious human rights abuses, including a pattern of systemic and pervasive rape of girls as young as 11 years old, and he is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. We are confident that Quiboloy will face justice for his heinous crimes.”

Senate’s power

Citing jurisprudence, Hontiveros maintained that it is within the Senate’s jurisdiction to hold accountable anyone who disregarded its authority to conduct investigations in aid of legislation, including failing to attend despite a valid subpoena.

She referenced a case involving the Senate blue ribbon committee, where the Supreme Court (SC) upheld the due process rights of witnesses who attended the hearing, affirming the Senate’s authority to investigate and cite people in contempt.

“It is very simple,” Hontiveros said. “The power of the Senate to conduct investigations in aid of legislation has long been settled by the Supreme Court.” 

She added, “Hindi po mapapakulong ng Senado si Quiboloy para sa mga paratang sa kanya, dahil hindi kami huwes…. Pero kapangyarihan ng Senado ang panagutin ang sinuman na hindi kumilala ng kapangyarihan ng Senate na maglunsad ng mga imbestigasyon. Kasama ang hindi pagdalo sa imbestigasyon despite a valid subpoena.”

(The Senate cannot jail Quiboloy for the accusations against him, because we are not judges… However, it is within the Senate’s power to hold accountable anyone who does not recognize the authority of the Senate to conduct investigations. This includes failure to attend an investigation despite a valid subpoena.)

In aid of legislation

Hontiveros said the Senate committee was examining the inner workings of Quiboloy’s church to determine whether improvements to the country’s laws were necessary regarding rape vis à vis the concept of consent, labor conditions for religious volunteers, occupational safety and labor standards, and the human trafficking law concerning acts of forced begging and servitude under the guise of religious freedom.

She said there was also a need for Congress to consider a separate law specifically addressing religious violence and other abuses. – with a report from Angie de Silva/Rappler.com

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!
Accessories, Glasses, Face


Herbie Gomez

Herbie Salvosa Gomez is coordinator of Rappler’s bureau in Mindanao, where he has practiced journalism for over three decades. He writes a column called “Pastilan,” after a familiar expression in Cagayan de Oro, tackling issues in the Southern Philippines.