Sara Duterte says probe vs Quiboloy is ‘trial by publicity’

by Mar 12, 2024Featured Article, News

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Sara Duterte branded as a mere “trial by publicity” the ongoing investigation of alleged sex offender and televangelist Apollo Quiboloy.

According to her, the inquiry is a form of “violence,” which she claimed many believe is “unfair.” Duterte said accusations against the self-proclaimed “Appointed Son of God” should instead be brought to court.

“Ako po ay nakikiisa sa panawagan ng pagpapairal ng batas at katarungan sa hinaharap na isyu ni Pastor Apollo Quiboloy at ng [SMNI],” Duterte said in a video-recorded statement aired on Quiboloy-linked Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) on Monday night.

(I am expressing my solidarity with the call for law enforcement and justice in the issue involving Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and SMNI.)

“Sa mga ginagawang pagdinig ay tila pinatawan na ng guilty verdict si Pastor Quiboloy, kahit na nakabatay lamang ang pagdinig na ito sa mga paratang ng mga testigo na nagkukubli ng kanilang katauhan at hindi mapatunayan ang kredibilidad,” she added.

(In the ongoing hearings, it seems that Pastor Quiboloy has already been presumed guilty, even though these hearings rely solely on the accusations of witnesses who hide their identities, and the credibility of their claims cannot be proven.)

Duterte, daughter of former president Rodrigo Duterte, who is now the caretaker of Quiboloy’s assets, made these pronouncements as Senator Risa Hontiveros proposed the issuance of an arrest order against the founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) for skipping the hearings of her panel.

Hontiveros, as chair of the Senate committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality, has been conducting an inquiry into Quiboloy’s alleged crimes, such as rape and abuse.

“Lagi po tayong manalangin para sa hustisya at katotohanan. Justice and the truth cannot be achieved in trial by publicity, but by a day in court,” the Vice President also said.

(Let us always pray for justice and truth. Justice and the truth cannot be achieved through trial by publicity but through a fair day in court.)

On SMNI, Duterte said its ongoing suspension case is a “media freedom issue.” The National Telecommunications Commission suspended SMNI over alleged franchise violations.

Before her video-recorded message aired late Monday night, reporters had asked Duterte for her comment on the Quiboloy probe through the Office of the Vice President but received no response, even as of this posting.

Quiboloy is currently being investigated in the Senate over allegations that he abused women and children.

He is also facing several criminal charges in the United States, including Conspiracy to Engage in Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud and Coercion, and Sex Trafficking of Children; Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud, and Coercion; Conspiracy; and Bulk Cash Smuggling.