The camp of Senator Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday slammed the decision of the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office to dismiss his libel complaint against Apollo Quiboloy, saying a distinction must be made between mere criticism and the spread of fake news.
In September last year, Pacquiao filed cyber libel complaint against Quiboloy seeking P100 million in damages for spreading “fabricated” claims about him.
The complaint stemmed from a television appearance and social media post by Quiboloy in which he claimed Pacquiao, then a congressman of Saranggani, had misused funds for the unfinished Sarangani Sports Training Center.
Quiboloy claimed that the project had cost the government some P3.5 billion.
Pacquiao’s lawyer, Nikki de Vega, observed that the case was dismissed even without a counter-affidavit from Quiboloy.
She said they had already filed a motion for reconsideration before the Makati Prosecutor’s Office, but would consider withdrawing it so that the US government, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), can properly facilitate the extradition and arrest of Quiboloy in relation to his sex trafficking case in the US.
The senator said it is more important to bring justice to the victims of those heinous crimes.
“Many lives were destroyed that should be given justice,” he said in a statement.
Quiboloy, the founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and spiritual adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte, was indicted in the United States in November last year for orchestrating a sex trafficking operation that coerced girls and young women to have sex with the church’s leader under threats of “eternal damnation.”