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KOJC calls arrest of leader excessive, plans legal action vs police operatives

THE KINGDOM of Jesus Christ (KOJC) criticized the implementation of the arrest of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and five other leaders, calling the enforcement of warrants of arrest “excessive and overkill.”

Meanwhile, KOJC also plans to file charges against officers involved in property damage, alleged wrongful arrests, and injuries to members.

According to the KOJC statement, at around 3:45 a.m. on June 10, 2024, operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and hundreds of law enforcers from various special units of the Philippine National Police (PNP), simultaneously raided four properties of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC), to serve the warrants of arrest issued by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 159 of Pasig City, against Pastor Quiboloy and five others. 

Most of the operatives were reportedly from the PNP Region X. 

The targets of the raids were the KOJC Compound, The Prayer Mountain, and The Glory Mountain (both in Barangay Tamayong, Davao City) as well as on the KOJC’s property in Kitbog, Sarangani Province.

“We strongly condemn the manner of implementing the arrest warrants insofar as they were not only laden with irregularities, but they were excessive and overkill. The PNP deployed special battalions who were in full battle gear, some CIDG officials were even seen wearing bulletproof vests, and hundreds of police personnel in anti-riot gear and shields strategically positioned themselves at the KOJC Compound,” the statement read.

Accordingly, at the KOJC Central compound, at least three were injured in the short melee when fully armed policemen tried to scale the gate. Helicopters were roving around the compound. 

“The police arrival was unannounced, and we were caught by surprise as the police officers had already visited the KOJC Central several times before this morning’s incident. Thus, when the police officers used make-shift stairs in trying to climb the walls of the KOJC compound, the members were alarmed,” the statement added.

The organization accused the police of using unnecessary force during the raids with the officers in riot gear allegedly damaging property and injuring members while trying to serve arrest warrants.

Tension ensued and three members were mauled in the commotion. At Glory Mountain in Barangay Tamayong, Calinan, Davao City, the main gate was smashed or destroyed when the police forcibly entered the property. 

Nine members of the KOJC were arrested/handcuffed by the police for the reason that they were allegedly carrying machetes during the raid. The members are already preparing a formal complaint against the police officers concerned.

KOJC contended the warrants were already served in May, and the recent raid violated their rights.

Moreover, the implementation of the warrants of arrest is also questionable as the CIDG has already filed their Returns of Warrant of Arrest as early as May 14, 2024, before the RTC Branch 159 of Pasig City. Thus, in so far as the KOJC leaders are concerned, the warrants have already been implemented.

“Even assuming without conceding that the arrest warrants had not yet been served, the implementation of the arrest warrants was unjust and excessive,” it said.

“Since the founding of our nation, the Constitution has guaranteed that all people have a right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose,” it added.

The statement also said: “Law enforcers are not authorized to use force nor disregard established rules in implementing an arrest warrant. More importantly, an arrest warrant is not a search warrant. Even if searches incident to a lawful arrest, the arrest must precede the search; generally, the process cannot be reversed. Thus, we strongly condemn the highly irregular implementation of the warrants of arrest and the arbitrary and oppressive use of force and violence in enforcing the same.”

The group says they will pursue legal remedies to protect Pastor Quiboloy, other leaders, and the KOJC.

 “We shall continue to pursue all legal remedies to protect the constitutional rights of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, the Kingdom leaders, and the entire Kingdom of Jesus Christ,” it added.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte echoes sentiment

“I strongly condemn the use of excessive and unnecessary force in serving the warrant of arrest for Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ by police officers who are not even from Davao City. This incident occurred within a place of worship and on school premises, which is absolutely unacceptable,” Duterte said in a statement.

“Will this overkill be the trademark of this administration when dealing with individuals who are merely accused of committing a crime and have not been proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt?” he added. 

The former President also asks “Will they exhibit the same lack of self-restraint they have shown towards critics of this administration when dealing with their supporters?” 

“How can this administration guarantee the preservation of the constitutional rights of our fellow Filipinos when even the most fundamental of these rights are being trampled upon and blatantly violated?” he further said.



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