‘It’s questionable’: Abalos under fire over reward money vs Pastor ACQ 

‘It’s questionable’: Abalos under fire over reward money vs Pastor ACQ 

DILG Sec. Benhur Abalos, Jr. announced on Monday the reward money against Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy and five other accused individuals.

This announcement, was met with various criticism and questions.

Political commentator Jay Sonza raised concerns, particularly about the ten million peso reward against Pastor Apollo.

Sonza questioned why a reward was issued when warrants had not yet been served and court hearings had not commenced on previously dismissed and revived charges against the respected pastor.

“Look, they’ve made him a wanted person and labeled him a fugitive, even though warrants haven’t been served and the case hasn’t even begun.”

“They’ve added a reward on top of that. The question is: Where will the reward money come from? Taxpayer funds? From POGO? From jueteng? From STL? Where did the money come from?” Jay Sonza – Political Commentator said.

During a briefing, Abalos did not disclose the source of the reward funds, instead, he simply stated that it came from a private individual seeking to assist in the arrest of Pastor Apollo.

Former DILG member Attorney Ferdinand Topacio raised several issues regarding the reward.

One critical point was the identities of those providing the reward money.

“According to Secretary Abalos’ own admission, this is private funding, but he refuses to disclose the donors. The question that arises is: Who are these individuals, and why are so generous to offer a reward for the arrest of Pastor ACQ,” Atty. Ferdinand Topacio – Legal Counsel, Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy said.

Second is the motivation behind providing such a significant amount of reward.

“This should also be known for the sake of transparency under the constitutional provision of access to information on matters of public concern.”

“It’s important to know the motivations of those individuals who appear to prioritize the warrant against Pastor Quiboloy with such a substantial reward, especially when others accused of equally grave or evenly grave offenses do not have such large rewards,” Atty. Topacio added.

Third: the public deserves to know if the DILG has violated any regulations by accepting a private donation for a reward.

“Has any law been violated in accepting a private donation by a public official? Isn’t it a violation of his office to accept this bounty?” Topacio added.

Topacio noted that the ten million peso reward against pastor apollo is too much– and that it contrasts sharply with government rewards for other criminals and the terrorist communist group threatening to overthrow the government.

Abalos is using Pastor Apollo issue for senatorial bidSonza

Sonza, meanwhile, believes that Abalos may be using the issue regarding Pastor Apollo to gain traction in his senatorial bid for 2025.

To this, Sonza suggested Abalos should address recent issues, like the highly controversial drug bust in Alitagtag, Batangas.

“Until now, he hasn’t been able to explain the failure that is the fake-pretend, supposed billion-peso drug bust at a checkpoint, and it’s still unclear where the driver is or where they’ve hidden him.”

“In other words, it seems that this is also the mastermind behind the illegal raid conducted on KOJC properties a few weeks ago,” Jay Sonza – Political Commentator said.

Sonza also has an advice for the secretary:

“Stop making various gimmicks. Because it always fails,” Sonza added.

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