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Marcos to Quiboloy: No ‘threats’; Duterte to pastor: Just surrender

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President Marcos on Wednesday categorically denied his alleged involvement in a slay plot against controversial televangelist Apollo Quiboloy, founder, and leader of the Davao-based Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC).

Meanwhile, former President Rodrigo Duterte has advised Quiboloy to prepare for his arrest, unless he changed his mind about defying a Senate inquiry on his alleged sexual abuses.

“Walang may gustong mag-assassinate sa kanya. Bakit siya i-assassinate (Nobody wants to assassinate him. Why would he be assassinated? There’s no reason (for anybody to do that). Why would anyone (want him dead)?” the President told reporters before boarding his plane to Australia.

Quiboloy has accused President Marcos and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos of colluding with authorities from the United States, where he is wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for charges of human trafficking and sexual assault, among other violations.

The President instead called on the beleaguered KOJC leader to face the allegations hurled against him.

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Quiboloy has been repeatedly summoned by both the Senate and House of Representatives for hearings on his alleged sexual abuses against some female members of his congregation, as well as violations of his Sonshine Media Network International television channel.

“Well, I would just advise him if he has something to say… He has an opportunity in the hearings, both in the House and in the Senate to tell his side of the story,” the Chief Executive said.

The Senate Committee on Women, Children, and Family Relations headed by Senator Risa Hontiveros has been investigating Quiboloy over allegations made by some former members of his organization.

The House Committee on Legislative Franchises, meanwhile, subpoenaed him in connection with issues hurled against Sonshine, broadcast arm of the KOJC.

“Just get yourself arrested,” Duterte said during late-night news conference on Tuesday, referring to his close ally, Quiboloy.

“This is a free country. If you don’t want to go there (to the Senate), then get yourself arrested. I will give him the free choice,” Duterte added.

He also downplayed Quiboloy’s criminal cases in the United States, calling them “minor.”

“America would not prioritize that. He is free to roam around the country. His case is in America, not here. He doesn’t have a case in the Philippines. So, he is free to roam around the country,” the former chief executive told reporters.

Quiboloy and two of his associates were considered fugitives US authorities placed them in the “most wanted” list for alleged criminal offenses.

Duterte’s advice came hours before President Marcos urged Quiboloy to submit himself to the investigating Senate panel and answer the accusations leveled at him by former KOJC workers to avoid complicating the situation.

The word of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Pastor Apollo Quiboloy to attend the Senate probe will have a weight on the religious leader to show up in the hearing, according to Hontiveros.

“Despite the attacks of Quiboloy, the word of the highest in the government, maybe, it has a few weights or there’s weight,” Hontiveros said, referring to Mr. Marcos’ advice to Quiboloy.

She agreed with the President that Quiboloy should face the Senate hearing, adding that her panel was open to hear his side. She reiterated that the Senate is open to hear his side.

“We are just waiting for him,” Hontiveros said.

However, if Quiboloy continues to defy the subpoena issued to him, Hontiveros said he would be cited in contempt and be arrested.

Asked if Quiboloy has intentions to attend the Senate hearing, Hontiveros admitted they have no information. She emphasized that Quiboloy even described their hearing as bogus.

Editor’s Note: This is an updated article. Originally posted with the headline “Marcos denies plot to kill Quiboloy, urges him to face congressional hearings.”

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