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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Risa to DOJ: Keep Quiboloy in PH

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SENATOR Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue an immigration lookout bulletin order against Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, leader of the Kingdom Of Jesus Christ (KOJC) as she vowed to look into his alleged money laundering activities Quiboloy, the spiritual advisor of former President Rodrigo Duterte, has been indicted in the United States for sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion;sex trafficking of children; and bulk cash smuggling.

In a media briefing, Hontiveros said the DOJ can do this motu proprio to prevent Quiboloy from leaving the country.

She insisted that Quiboloy, who also belongs on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, must not escape accountability.

“Our children’s lives are at stake,” said Hontiveros, who filed on Monday a proposed Senate resolution to investigate Quiboloy, who declared himself as the “anointed son of God.”

Hontiveros said Quiboloy should be investigated for large-scale human trafficking, rape, sexual abuse and violence, and child abuse.

On Monday night, Hontiveros formally asked her colleagues in the Senate to investigate Quiboloy.

She also presented the video of alias Jackson, a former KOJC member, who was recruited to the organization and made to beg for alms in Dipolog, Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, the entire Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental.

At first, he said, they were given a 10 percent or 20 percent commission, but later on, the KOJC took everything.

He also remembered that he got 50 lashes when he failed to reach his quota.

Another former KOJC member, Arlene, saidshe suffered many abuses from Quiboloy and his minions. Even as a minor, she was forced to beg and contribute money to the organization, she said.

Often, they were made to pretend to be blind and mute.

Since she was one of Quiboloy’s top “sellers,” she was brought to Manila from Davao City, she said.

Hontiveros also showed a screenshot showing the instructions that “encouraged the use of guitar, tambourine, or ukulele” while begging.

“This screenshot is just this year. So this is still happening. This is human trafficking,” Hontiveros said.

“These are very real fears that they are living with, but I hope that through the filed resolution — and eventual investigation — they will be empowered to tell their truth and seek justice,” she added.

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio on Tuesday challenged Hontiveros to file charges in court against Quiboloy if she has strong evidence against him.

“If she believes she has strong witnesses and they are telling the truth, why doesn’t she bring it to court where we have a fair chance and there is due process,” Topacio said.

But when asked if he believes that the charges hurled against Quiboloy are true, Topacio replied, “It is not for me to confirm or deny, but for the court to decide on this matter. “

He questioned the senator’s motive for seeking the investigation, and accused Hontiveros of selective concern for women and children because she could lead an investigation when minor women were recruited by communist rebels.

He said these women did not only engage in combat, but were abused by the communist commanders.

Also on Tuesday, Assistant Minority Leader Arlene Brosas on Tuesday urged the House of Representatives to hear a resolution urging an investigation of charges of sex trafficking, rape, and physical abuse of women and children filed against Quiboloy.

Brosas, of the Gabriela Women’s Party, was referring to House Resolution 644 she filed on Dec. 13, 2022, in light of the wanted posters released by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for Quiboloy.

“The pile of allegations against him has been ongoing for years.

Congress should investigate this, especially now that Quiboloy seems to be in hiding,” Brosas said in Filipino.

“Political prisoners and peace advocates who have been imprisoned on false charges continue to suffer in jails, while Quiboloy, who has already faced US sanctions, remains at liberty,” Brosas added.

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