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ROUGH CUTS | This one is stranger than fiction


Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested only one (1) of three persons who are co-accused of Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy in a child abuse case he allegedly committed years back. The three are alleged to be associates of the religious leader when the alleged crime was committed
We say only one because as per news report quoting Region XI NBI Director lawyer Archie Albao, it was only accused Tamayong Barangay Captain Cresente Canada who was formally served the arrest warrant in his residence. The three others were not served the arrest order but they instead voluntarily surrendered to the NBI later on Wednesday afternoon.

Surprisingly unfortunate was the failure of the law enforcers to locate and arrest the primary accused Pastor Quiboloy . We say surprising – even intriguing – because the lawmen certainly know that when the criminal case made to sleep for the longest time at the Department of Justice and suddenly brought to life, the likelihood is that eventually it will be decided by the court as to the strength of the evidence against the accused. Therefore, they should have started “shadowing” the primary suspect to ensure that they can have a handle on him once the time comes.

Anyway, if the NBI indeed does not have any idea of the Pastor’s whereabouts, then its agents have a lot of snooping to do.

Meanwhile, several people we have talked to about this recent development in the Quiboloy case, are entertaining with suspicion the idea that the haste with which the case against the Davao City-based religious leader is not really a strategy of the Justice Department to pin down Quiboloy.

Rather, these “doubting Thomases” of the people believed that the fast activation of the Quiboloy case is the Pastor’s legal team-inspired scheme to save him from two shameful possibilities. One is his “forced” appearances in the Senate investigation. The other is the Reverend’s extradition to the United States as consequence of several cases the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have filed against him.
With Quiboloy now formally an accused in a criminal case in court, then his legal team can advise its client not to attend the Senate probe since the latter inquiry might result to the religious leader making statements that will later incriminate him in his case being heard by the court.

As to his possible extradition, opinion of several of our lawyer friends, and even the processes in recent deportation proceedings, tend to show cases filed against anyone in a country where he/she has allegedly committed the crime, should first be resolved and terminated. Classic examples were the cases of Chinese purportedly employees of POGOs in the Philippines. Then there was that Japanese criminal hiding in the Philippines and later committed various crimes in the country. Their deportations were deferred until the time the cases against them in the Philippines were resolved by the courts.
In other words, the people having some doubts on the sudden issuance by the court of arrest order on Quiboloy could possibly be likely correct in their intuition. That is, that the court-issued arrest order is more a welcome development by the accused religious leader than a Damocles’ sword hanging over his head.

Just consider the timing of the issuance by the court of the arrest order. It came out shortly after the warrant issued by the Senate for Quiboloy’s appearance in the Senate body probe. The Senate-issued warrant was for the Pastor’s continuous refusal to attend the hearing.

And why the delay in the serving of the Senate-issued arrest order on the Pastor? The Regional Police Office (RPO) XI, through its spokesperson Maj. Catherine dela Ray, confirmed that they received a memorandum from the Senate Sgt.-at-Arms requesting for assistance in serving the warrant on the Pastor. But she said, the memorandum did not indicate any date as to when the service has to be executed. And when the Senate authorities will be coming to Davao.

Isn’t it strange that one such important and critical responsibility by the Senate is marred with loopholes as simple as the date of the coming of the representatives of the Senate’s Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms to arrest the prodigal church leader?

Then the service of the court-issued arrest warrant suddenly overtook the warrant emanating from the Senate.

STRANGE indeed; perhaps even stranger than fiction.
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