Justice and Pastor Quiboloy

However, the victims are doing a great service to the community because their participation is the best way we have for now to stop offenders from offending again.
Justice and Pastor Quiboloy

On 3 April 2024, a Davao Regional Trial Court issued arrest orders for Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder Apollo Quiboloy and five of his followers. They are charged with violating Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, specifically the provision on sexual abuse of minors and maltreatment. Judge Dante Baguio of the Davao RTC, Branch 12, signed the orders. 

Shortly after the issuance, three of the accused, Cresente Canada, Paulene Canada and Sylvia Camanes, surrendered to the authorities. A day later, two more co-accused, Jackiely Roy and Ingrid Canada, turned themselves in to the police and the National Bureau of Investigation in Davao.

As early as 14 March 2024, in a two-page order, the Davao RTC said it had found probable cause to issue an arrest warrant for Quiboloy. However, Quiboloy’s counsel filed a motion to defer or suspend the proceedings and asked the court to hold the issuance of the arrest order. The court said it granted Quiboloy’s motion as his camp filed a motion questioning a resolution issued by the Department of Justice.

In a recent statement, the DoJ welcomed the arrest warrants for Quiboloy and his subordinates. The statement added that the DoJ had vowed to let justice take its course, even as it commended the RTC’s handling of the proceedings. 

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” C. Remulla said he respected the Court’s independence and would “let the wheels of justice move on their own. Our prosecutors have performed their duties excellently, according to their mandate. We now leave it to the Court to do its share.”

The DoJ chief hastened to add, “This may be a very tedious fight, but I hope justice will be completely delivered to those who deserve it.”

As a woman, I welcome these developments. If the charges are eventually proven true, Quiboloy and all those found responsible and guilty shall be punished and held accountable. This process is only the beginning, but the fight will be worth it for all those who long for truth and justice. 

Engaging in the legal process, with its twists and turns, takes time. It can also be inconvenient and sometimes even upsetting. However, the victims are doing a great service to the community because their participation is the best way we have for now to stop offenders from offending again.

Advocates, legislators, journalists and sympathetic public figures are there to help clarify, streamline and speed up the process, and counselors can help with the wounded feelings and painful reactions experienced by the victims.

That said, I sincerely encourage the victims to continue coming forward and testifying. I assure them that most, if not all, women and children in our country will be behind them in this fight. We celebrated Women’s Month last March, and this fight is aligned with the empowerment and protection of women and children alike.

On the other hand, I hope that Pastor Quiboloy does surrender and face the charges against him and some of his followers. It is only just, fair, and proper. If the process later turns out to be consistent with his innocence, well and good for him and his followers. 

It is also for the peace of mind of all those following this story who wonder how our justice system will deal with yet another set of powerful figures who have all the resources — social, financial, political — to defend themselves and even otherwise influence the end game. 

Lastly, I pray that the Court accords the accused due process and the complainants a future trial free of bias and outside influence from the media and other external factors. I also wish that if Quiboloy and the others are proven guilty, the Court would hand down the proper and commensurate sentences. 

I echo the Justice Secretary’s sentiment that we should let the wheels of justice move on their own. Let me just add that they should move forward more swiftly.

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