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ROUGH CUTS | Battle of ‘Official Statements’ raging

AS we said in our previous columns the political war between two leading groups in the country today has taken a new dimension. That is, from simple scathing utterances captured by the mainstream and the now much abused social media, the “war” has evolved into a “battle of Official Statements” from concerned adversaries – persons or organizations.

Last Tuesday the camp of beleaguered now fugitive Pastor of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church Apollo C. Quiboloy issued an Official Statement condemning the manner by which the warrants of arrest against the Church leader was implemented. On the same day, former President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued his own “Official Statement” lambasting the same police undertaking calling the manner of the warrants implementation an “overkill.”

In the same Official Statement of the former President he said that the “overkill” will be the trademark of this administration in dealing with individuals who are merely accused of committing a crime and not yet proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt

It is however, a fact that even before Duterte became President the two were known very close friends. The Pastor has in fact appointed the former President and Davao City Mayor as overseer of the KOJC properties shortly before he “disappeared” from the public’s view.

Yesterday, another individual, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, and the Police Regional Office (PRO) XI issued their own “official statements” on the same controversial issue through the social media platform Facebook.

The VP expressed her joining those who wish that the warrants of arrest of Quiboloy should have been done in a peaceful and acceptable manner and that the implementers – the law enforcers – should have ensured that the safety and security of civilians and even the accused be protected from any possible harm.

Earlier though, the Vice President was lambasted by her critics for her continued silence on the issue of the territorial dispute between the country and China which is of national and international significance.
Because of the VP’s quickness in issuing her official stand on the serving of the Quiboloy warrants many are now asking what is at stake in her apparent condemnation of the manner with which the failed warrants service was conducted. The Vice President’s statement though was so well-crafted that it appears more of a reminder for the police to observe the proper protocols.

Meanwhile, the PRO XI in its own Official Statement detailed the reasons why it has done the serving of the warrants in that manner. It said that it is within police operational procedure and that it was done to ensure the safety of the public as well the effectiveness of the police mandate. It said further that the police were out to serve the warrants not just on a single individual but with five others.
Moreover, it said that the service of the warrants on the accused is a “procedural step in the legal process.

On the other hand, we cannot help but ask whether the supporters of the KOJC Pastor were keeping continuous vigil at the main gate of the compound of the sect’s main Church in Buhangin. If they did not, how come that they know what day and time will the warrants servers will come and how many were the law enforcers for them to gather a substantial number to successfully confront the policemen?
We suspect that they have a number of moles inside the police organization who are giving the Quiboloy camp or whoever is calling the shots for the Pastor, updates on the Pastor’s case at the police headquarter.

There was also the possibility that the police had information that the Pastor may have been inside the heavily secured compound in Buhangin in that particular night so the lawmen decided to serve the warrants in the wee hours of dawn. But the moles could have gotten wind of the planned police action. Thus the Pastor could have moved out much earlier.

Anyhow, the controversial warrants serving is already “water under the bridge.” Or so the saying goes. But our gut feel is that the “overkill” serving of the warrants at the main KOJC compound could just be a police “diversionary” scheme. The likelihood is that there might be a number of tracker teams composed of a few law enforcers snooping every possible place the Pastor could be holing himself up.

Certainly the Church leader will not venture into hiding with so many security men, He knows having a sizeable group will make his presence conspicuous.


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