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FIRING LINE: Quiboloy wanted here and abroad

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

For someone who swears innocence from behind the pulpit, Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy has exempted himself from every chance to defend himself before an independent inquiry. The Senate wants him, which has already heard severe accusations against him, but Quiboloy remains elusive, choosing to hide behind a facade of piety.

I cannot understand why, up to this juncture, there were the likes of Sen. Robinhood Padilla, who would exert all effort to prevent the televangelist’s arrest. Sen. Risa Hontiveros would not have resorted to such a thing if Quiboloy had only appeared before the august body to defend himself.

Padilla, though, is finding out the hard way that going out on a limb for this pastor accused of many dirty crimes on account of friendship is a thorn in the side of his colleagues in the Senate. See how his good friend, Sen. JV Ejercito, abandoned his cause.

Even the Department of Justice (DOJ) has stepped in to recommend the filing of criminal charges against Quiboloy, notwithstanding the Davao City prosecutor’s previous stance. Some have speculated, however, that while this serves as a damning indictment from the corridors of power, this could be a case of “demanda me,” the intention of which might be to shield the pastor from extradition by the United States whose pendulum of justice wants a swing at his face.

The US will not stand idly by for so long as Quiboloy is indicted before a California court of severe charges of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud, coercion, sex trafficking of children, conspiracy, and cash smuggling.

If justice cannot be served here — since he has clearly hidden himself behind his battery of lawyers — it is starting to become clear that his alleged crimes know no bounds that justice can reckon with him overseas.

Last Friday, the California court unsealed the warrants for his arrest. Although the US has yet to request an extradition, legal experts said the Philippines is bound by a treaty to turn him over.

Given that he has pending cases in the Philippines, legal experts are still of the opinion that it only takes a political decision from the Marcos administration to arrest the pastor and yield to an extradition request by the US.

The government can drop any charges filed against him here to pave the way for him to answer for his alleged crimes in the US.

I believe in prayer. But when it is spoken from Quiboloy’s lips to save himself from his own doing, I doubt if Heaven would offer him a sanctuary from the long arm of justice.


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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View via X app (formerly Twitter). Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.thephilbiznews.com

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