Davao court orders arrest of Quiboloy as 3 aides nabbed

By Jeanne Michael Penaranda

DAVAO CITY – The Davao Regional Trial Court Branch 12-Family Court has ordered the immediate implementation of an arrest warrant against Apollo Quiboloy and five others for child abuse and sexual abuse.

The development was followed by reports that Quiboloy was now considered a fugitive from law by the police.

“He (Quiboloy) is wanted as he is a fugitive of the law,” Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 – Public Information Office chief Major Catherine Dela Rey.

Quiboloy later issued a video admitting he is in hiding because he is fearful of his life.

“Hindi ako magpapahuli nang buhay (I will not be caught alive).” Quiboloy said in the taped recording.

Quiboloy broke down towards the end of a nearly 33-minute audio recording posted by the media arm of the Quiboloy-led Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) on YouTube.

“Tandaan po ninyo: Ako’y mamamatay with honor. Tatayo ako para sa mga ginipit, kinunan ng katarungan, kinunan ng hustisya sa bansang ito. Dito tutulo ang aking dugo. Dito ako mamamatay. Bahala na, basta Pilipino ang papatay sa akin. OK sa akin iyon,” Quiboloy said, his voice cracking.

“Ako po ay hindi nagtatago sa kasong ito dahil ako po ay may kasalanan. Hindi po. Ako ay umiiwas dahil pinoprotektahan ko ang aking sarili,” he said.

Quiboloy said he would confront his accusers and respond to their allegations in court only if the United States where he is wanted for various charges would keep off.

The preacher alleged that US authorities intended to kidnap or kill him rather than extradite him for trial in an American court without specifying why the US would want him dead.

The Davao RTC earlier issued a warrant of arrest against Quiboloy, Jackielyn W. Roy, Crescente Canada, Paulene Canada, Ingrid C. Canada and Sylvia Cemañes last March 14, but its implementation was suspended following an appeal filed before the Department of Justice by Quiboloy’s camp.

But the PNP on Wednesday arrested three loyal associates of Quiboloy, in connection with a sexual abuse case against the televangelist preacher. 

The three arrested were identified as Cresente Canada, Paulene Canada, and Sylvia Cemañes, who are suspected of allowing abuses to take place at the church, which is headquartered in Davao. In its warrant, the court in Davao had also indicted the three and order their arrests on charges of sexual abuse. 

In an order dated April 1, Judge Dante Baguio noted that while the defense filed a motion to defer and suspend the proceedings, and hold in abeyance the issuance of warrants of arrest pending a motion for reconsideration filed before the DOJ, no ruling has yet been handed down by the DOJ on whether it has decided to withdraw the indictments.

The court said “more than reasonable time has lapsed” and it has yet to receive any resolution of Quiboloy’s motion for reconsideration by the DOJ, and “neither a copy of the same was furnished to the court by accused’s counsels nor a manifestation was duly filed, at the very least.”

“Having received none as of this date, the Court declines this time to await. As what was earlier determined upon judicious examination and perusal of information where it found probable cause, let the warrants of arrest already issued be implemented immediately,” it said.

Meanwhile, Justice Undersecretary Margarita Gutierrez told reporters that prosecutors will be meeting shortly to plan the prosecution’s next move following the issuance of the arrest warrants.

Quiboloy and the others were charged for violating Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, specifically the provision on sexual abuse of minor and maltreatment.