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VP appeals for cooler heads after raid on KOJC compounds

VICE PRESIDENT Sara Duterte has appealed for “reasonable, defensible, and humane enforcement” of the law following the Monday raids on the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) to serve the arrest warrant against Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and five others. 

The KOJC described the enforcement of warrants as “excessive and overkill” where the compound’s property was damaged and some members injured.

On Tuesday, the vice president issued a statement commenting on the issue as speculations are spreading on social media accusing the Marcos administration of targeting former President Rodrigo Duterte through his friend and spiritual advisor, Quiboloy.

“It was a general panawagan sa tanan law enforcement agencies kung mag implement ug search warrant or arrest warrants, let us make sure that we respect the innocent civilians, ordinary citizens, especially ang mga bata,” the vice president said in an interview on Wednesday at the sidelines of the 126th commemoration of Independence day at Rizal Park.

“Because kanang trauma sa ingon ana sa pag implement sa simpleng warrant of arrest wala ta kabalo unsay epekto ana sailahang pagdako ug sailang sarili (Because we don’t know if the implementation of the simple search warrant would have an impact to kids as they grow up),” she added.

Combined elements of the different police units stormed the gated compounds of televangelist Pastor Apollo Quiboloy at 4 a.m. on June 10 to serve the arrest warrant against the televangelist and five others accused of child abuse and trafficking.

However, they failed to find Quiboloy and the five accused.

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.

PRO XI statement 

On the other hand, the PRO XI finally broke its silence on Tuesday after releasing a statement justifying its actions. 

“The service of warrants of arrest of Pastor Quiboloy and several other co-accused was carried out by valid warrants issued by several courts. The operation was conducted with the utmost consideration for safety and regularity, following strict protocols to minimize disruption and ensure the safety of the public,” the statement said.

“The decision to get several police officers involved in the service of several warrants of arrest was adopted to ensure safety and operational effectiveness taking into consideration the number of persons to be arrested and the areas where they were reasonably believed to be found,” it added.

The Police Regional Office XI explained that “Under established rules of engagement and operational procedures, our police personnel carry BASIC police equipment as part and mandated by our police operational procedures such as but not limited to issued firearms, restraining devices, personal protective equipment, and other accessories required for a particular type of operation being conducted.”

“We understand the concerns about the use of force. The police officers employed reasonable measures to restrain some individuals who were obstructing the service of arrest warrants. Despite resistance from supporters, our police officers remained composed and demonstrated maximum tolerance throughout the operation. Our primary objective is to maintain public trust and ensure that justice is served fairly and impartially,” the statement said.

“We emphasize that Pastor Quiboloy, like any other citizen, is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The service of warrants of arrest was a procedural step in the legal process, and we urge the public to allow the judiciary to perform its duties without undue pressure or speculation,” it added.

Photo: Bing Gonzales


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