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FIRING LINE: Come out, wherever you are

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

Senator Robinhood Padilla has gotten his wish, but perhaps not in the way he expected. Last Monday, Padilla pled with the Senate committee hearing criminal accusations against Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) church leader Apollo C. Quiboloy not to issue a contempt order against his friend.

He tried to reason with his colleagues to issue a show-cause order instead. On Tuesday, the Senate panel did just what he wanted. This order demands Quiboloy’s explanation for his consistent absence from the probe into alleged sex trafficking and rape accusations against him.

However, Padilla’s plea for leniency has a 48-hour deadline. Quiboloy’s repeated failure to attend hearings led to Senator Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel’s committee issuing this order. It was approved by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and will only hold if Quiboloy complies. If not, he could still be ordered arrested.

Firing Line does not suggest that Sen. Padilla hold his breath. If you ask the other “idol” in the Chamber, Sen. Raffy Tulfo, he will respect the committee chair’s decision just as he expects mutual respect among equals.

But Quiboloy is notorious for his defiance, which extends beyond the Senate. He has also snubbed congressional summons related to alleged violations by his media outfit, Sonshine Media Network International, before the House of Representatives.

In fact, the House Legislative Franchises Committee already approved a measure to revoke SMNI’s broadcasting franchise, citing various violations. In addition, the House had cited the televangelist, who claims he is the “appointed son of God,” in contempt.

If Padilla leaned more toward truth, justice, transparency, and accountability, then perhaps he would be the first to convince his friend to show up and face the music instead of shielding him from the processes of the august body to which he belongs.

He should contemplate more on his actions, just like Sen. JV Ejercito who withdrew his signature from Padilla’s move to block the flexing of legislative muscle against the embattled pastor.

For a self-professed man of God and the Bible, I wonder why Quiboloy chooses to hide. Does he not believe what he preaches? In Romans, it is said: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

The KOJC leader’s elusive behavior suggests otherwise, does it not? It kind of gives off the message that he lacks faith in the protection God will give him. Or, perhaps, he is guilty? Only he would know the truth and so he should come out to dispel all speculations.

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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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