10 Million Pesos Reward for Pastor Apollo Quiboloy: A Violation of Legal and Ethical Standards—Atty. Arnedo S. Valera

10 Million Pesos Reward for Pastor Apollo Quiboloy: A Violation of Legal and Ethical Standards—Atty. Arnedo S. Valera

WE express our deep concern over the recent announcement by DILG of a 10 million pesos reward for the capture of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

These funds, admitted to be private donations from friends of Secretary Abalos, raise significant legal and ethical issues that undermine the rule of law and the principles of due process in the Philippines.

Violation of Due Process

Using private donations as a reward to capture an accused person can bypass established legal processes, violating the principle of due process guaranteed by the Constitution (Article III, Section 1). The government must ensure that any action taken against an accused individual adheres to the law and respects their constitutional rights. Offering a monetary reward funded by private individuals undermines this fundamental legal safeguard.

Improper Use of Public Authority

The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019, Section 3) prohibits public officials from engaging in transactions that may benefit them personally or contravene established rules and regulations. The use of private funds for government rewards could be seen as a misuse of authority and resources. Public officials must adhere strictly to legal and procedural standards to maintain the integrity of their office and avoid any appearance of impropriety.

Conflict of Interest and Lack of Transparency

The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials (RA 6713, Section 4) emphasizes that public officials should prioritize public interest and maintain transparency in their actions. The acceptance and use of private donations for a public purpose without proper disclosure and accountability can lead to conflicts of interest and diminish public trust. Transparency and accountability are cornerstones of good governance and must be upheld at all times.

Misapplication of Funds

The Revised Penal Code (Article 220) explicitly prohibits the illegal use of public funds for purposes other than those appropriated by law. Even if the funds are donated privately, their use by government officials without proper legal appropriation may constitute an illegal act. The government must ensure that all funds, whether public or private, are used in accordance with the law and proper procedures.

By citing these laws and arguments, we assert that the use of a 10 million pesos reward donated by private individuals for locating Pastor Quiboloy is illegal and unlawful under Philippine law. We call on the relevant authorities to review this decision and ensure that all actions taken in this matter comply with our legal and ethical standards.

 

Rev. Arnedo S. Valera, Esquire, President Hakbang ng Maisug, USA

 

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