Senate comment sought on Quiboloy’s petition to block arrest order

senate comment sought on quiboloy’s petition to block arrest order

Senate comment sought on Quiboloy’s petition to block arrest order

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — The Supreme Court has directed the Senate to comment on the petition for certiorari and temporary restraining order (TRO) being sought by televangelist Apollo Quiboloy in relation to the upper chamber’s inquiry on alleged cases of human trafficking, rape, sexual and child abuse against the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader.

At a media forum in Baguio City on Wednesday, Supreme Court spokesperson Camille Ting said the petition was tackled on April 3 with the justices agreeing to require the respondents to file their comment within 10 days.

“The Supreme Court did not deny the [appeal for] TRO … , because there is no TRO issued yet, this means that the arrest warrant is still valid,” she said.

READ: Quiboloy arrest ordered, this time for qualified human smuggling

READ: 2nd Quiboloy arrest order: No bail this time

Ting clarified that the high tribunal’s ruling would cover only the Senate’s arrest warrant “so the arrest warrants issued by the regional trial courts are still valid outstanding.”

Quiboloy has two pending arrest warrants, one in a Davao court and another in Pasig, on charges of child abuse, sexual assault, exploitation and discrimination and trafficking which is nonbailable.

Legal recourse

The Senate arrest warrant was issued after the KOJC leader repeatedly ignored two subpoenas for him to attend the hearings.

On March 22, Quiboloy asked the high court to nullify the subpoenas against him, saying he never received the first one while the other was not properly served.

Reacting to the Supreme Court order, former Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Wednesday the self-proclaimed “appointed Son of God” should now comply with the Senate subpoenas after his petition for a TRO was not immediately granted.

READ: Quiboloy may now be arrested, says House lawmaker

Drilon, also a former justice secretary, said the high court’s decision upholding the arrest order issued by Sen. Risa Hontiveros against Quiboloy “recognized the constitutional power of the Senate … to conduct inquiries in aid of legislation.”

Hontiveros, who chairs the Senate committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality, had ordered Quiboloy’s arrest after he refused to attend her panel’s investigation into allegations that he repeatedly raped and physically abused several of his followers.

“The Supreme Court, in refusing to grant the TRO prayed for by Quiboloy, upheld the principle of separation of powers between the equal branches of the government,” Drilon said in a statement.

Hontiveros, for her part, said she would abide by the high tribunal’s order for her to comment on the petition filed by the KOJC leader.

She said she had tapped retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio as counsel to help prepare her response.

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