Senate investigation vs Pastor ACQ, travesty of justice

Senate investigation vs Pastor ACQ, travesty of justice

NO committee in the Senate has authority nor right to paint any person guilty when accused of committing a crime. This is what a former chief presidential legal counsel stressed in his recent column.

“The Senate has no power,” according to Atty. Salvador ‘Sal’ Panelo, Former Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.

“Exceedingly and inexcusably ignorant of the constitutional rights of an accused person,” Panelo added.

This is the analysis of a former chief presidential legal counsel on the measures taken by Senator Risa Hontiveros who is the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, against Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC).

This stems from Hontiveros’ giving bogus witnesses a platform in the senate to throw their accusations against Pastor Apollo.

However, according to a veteran lawyer, Atty. Salvador Panelo, it’s very clear that these are merely lies.

It can be remembered that a KOJC minister refuted one witness’ accusations when he showed messages sent by alias David himself contradicting his claims that he was physically abused and maltreated when he was still a member of KOJC.

Meanwhile, as for the alleged rape accusations, Atty. Panelo questioned in his column how it is possible that a rape victim will keep going back and forth to the scene of the crime for years and continue performing the same religious tasks inside the KOJC?

Panelo added that victims of violence always remember the circumstances of their sufferings arising from an assault which is why they do not need to have prepared statements or ‘script’ in front of them when testifying.

And as for the matter of the Senate’s use of its power to investigate in aid of legislation, Atty. Panelo clarified that the said institution cannot usurp the function of the courts of law and investigative agencies, neither can it assume the role of an investigator, prosecutor, and jury at the same time.

According to Panelo, what the Senate is doing is not only a gross and flagrant violation of the constitution but also a waste of taxpayers’ money.

The lawyer also warned government officials of the possibility that the Filipino people will no longer want to have an election.

“Well, if there is still an election. What if the people no longer consent to having an election? That is what we don’t want. That is also what [former] President Duterte did not want – hopefully we will not get to that point. Even now, that can still be fixed. It has only been two years,” Panelo stated.

“There will be great trouble,” he added.

It cannot be denied that Hontiveros has already judged and painted Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy guilty of committing the said alleged crimes based on Senate Resolution No. 884 which she introduced.

Aside from Atty. Panelo’s opinion that Hontiveros’ presidency of a kangaroo court in the Senate is a shameless exhibition of ignorance of the most elementary requirement of due process, is that this is also very disturbing. And due to this, he said Hontiveros is further destroying and sinking the Senate’s reputation.

And what is the consequence of all this on Hontiveros’ political career? This was Atty. Panelo’s response…

“This is zeroing in on Senator Risa Hontiveros.”

“That’s for sure,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the camp of Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy is preparing to question the Senate’s issuance of a warrant of arrest against the good pastor in the Supreme Court.

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