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FIRING LINE: Congress asks for Quiboloy

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Apollo Quiboloy, the founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) sect, is back in the funny papers as subpoenas left and right from both chambers of Congress are issued to him.

The summoning of Quiboloy by both the Senate and the House of Representatives over issues surrounding his Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) franchise is only the surface.

For years, Quiboloy has been tagged for involvement in threatening lawmakers, spreading disinformation, and possessing weapons. These are all profoundly troubling and indicative of a flagrant disregard for the law.

Earlier, there have been witness testimonies detailing physical abuse, sexual exploitation, and torture at the hands of Quiboloy and his associates. From former KOJC members alleging beatings to Ukrainian women voicing out sexual abuse, the pastor is painted as the prime suspect. Even his alleged grandchild recounted torture and imprisonment upon his bidding.

The image of Quiboloy carrying a bag of guns and orchestrating acts of torture and abuse shatters any semblance of moral authority he may have claimed as a religious leader, much less “the appointed son of God” as he so claims. His actions, if proven true, are not only criminal but also a betrayal of trust and a mockery of the principles of faith and compassion.

If Quiboloy snubs the Senate subpoena by not appearing at the hearing, the consequences could be as severe as the fate of his SMNI hosts last December. The Senate may indeed cite him for contempt, leading to potential detention just as the House of Representatives held Lorraine Badoy and Jeffrey Celiz in custody.

However, Quiboloy’s allies in the Senate, such as Sen. Robinhood Padilla, might attempt to dissuade their colleagues from taking such drastic measures. They may try to leverage their influence to protect Quiboloy and shield him from facing contempt charges.

Should Quiboloy choose to attend the hearing, the dynamics could shift. His Senate allies might rally to his defense. He’d probably have Padilla and a couple more aiming to mitigate the anticipated tough questioning from Sen. Risa Hontiveros.

Still, I wonder if Quiboloy has it in him to threaten the senators as he did publicly against some celebrities who criticized the Duterte administration. Would he curse them with natural disasters?

Considering the weight of the allegations against Quiboloy, including sex trafficking and cash smuggling — for which he made it to the FBI’s Most Wanted list — his appearance before the Senate could be a pivotal moment.

It may offer an opportunity for justice to be served and for the truth to be unearthed. Whether Quiboloy will face accountability for his actions ultimately hinges on the Senate’s actions.

Ultimately, his alleged criminal wrongdoing begs the question: Is this the work of a pastor or the devil?

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View via X app (formerly Twitter). Read current and past issues of this column at

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