Hontiveros asks SC to deny Quiboloy’s plea

PHILSTAR FILE PHOTO/ SENATE PRIB/JOSEPH VIDAL

SENATOR Ana Theresia N. Hontiveros-Baraquel has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to deny wanted televangelist Apollo C. Quiboloy’s plea to void a contempt order against him for failing to appear before a Senate probe into sex-trafficking allegations against him.

In a comment filed before the High Court on April 29 and sent to reporters by her office on Tuesday, she said there was no reason to void a Senate contempt order issued against him since he is “hiding from legitimately issued legislative and judicial processes.”

“What is urgent, in fact, is to restore confidence by demonstrating compliance and adherence to the lawful orders of the legislative branch and the Judiciary as well. It is more so, that the petitioner (Mr. Quiboloy) demonstrate his willingness to submit to lawful authorities, even if they are not of a divine nature,” she told the SC.

Earlier, the Department of Justice asked the SC to transfer the qualified human trafficking and sexual abuse cases against the wanted televangelist from Davao City to a court in Metro Manila, where other cases are lodged against him. Mr. Quiboloy is wanted in the United States for the same crimes.

“In the meantime, our Senate Committee (on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality) will continue to prepare for our next hearing.” the senator said.

“There are still victim-survivors that want to speak out and it is the obligation of our committee to give them the space here at our Senate,” she added — John Victor D. Ordoñez