By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo (PNA photo by Lloyd Caliwan)

MANILA – Private individuals and lawmakers are free to file charges or investigate recent police operations aimed at arresting Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and his five co-accused, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Friday.

This came after Senator Robinhood Padilla sought an inquiry into the PNP’s alleged excessive use of force in its attempt to arrest the preacher and his co-accused at the KOJC headquarters in Davao City on June 10, while former president Rodrigo Duterte, a known ally of Quiboloy, said he wants to file charges against the police over the incident.

“Ang PNP ay laging bukas sa mga (The PNP is always open to any) investigation, whether it will be in the Senate, whether it be in Congress. The national police is open to accepting these invitations to their investigations and I want to assure our honorable senators that the PNP would prepare to answer their questions with respect to this implementation of arrest warrant,” PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said during a press conference held in Camp Crame.

While noting that legal challenges filed by individuals before the courts are part of the due process, Fajardo also called on Quiboloy and his co-accused to submit to the country’s legal process.

“Harapin ninyo ang inyong kaso. Wala pong panghuhusga sa parte ng PNP dahil ang gusto nga natin ay humarap sila sa korte. Ibigay nila yung kanilang mga ebidensya to prove na mali itong mga inaaakusa sa kanya kasi yun naman ang essence ng due process (Face the charges against you. There is no judgment on the part of PNP because we only want them to face the court. They should submit evidence to prove that the allegations against them are wrong because that is the essence of due process),” she added.

Quiboloy has three standing arrest warrants for child and sexual abuse issued by the Davao City Regional Trial Court and human trafficking issued by a Pasig City court – all of which are non-bailable cases.

Fajardo, meanwhile, maintained the regularity of the operations led by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Special Action Force (SAF) in serving the arrest warrants.

She said the simultaneous implementation of the arrest warrants at the KOJC compound in Barangay Buhangin, Davao City; the Prayer Mountain in Tamayon; the Glory Mountain in Purok 6; the QSands Baptismal Resort in Samal; and the Kitbog Compound in Malungon, Sarangani was done after the police received information on the possible location of Quiboloy and KOJC Jackielyn W. Roy, Cresente Canada, Paulene Canada, Ingrid Canada, and Sylvia Cemañes.

Fajardo reiterated the need to deploy more police personnel during the operations for the maintenance of peace and order, considering the “anticipated” circumstances, particularly the possible resistance of Quiboloy’s supporters.

Supporters of Quiboloy gathered at the entrance of the KOJC compound and even used a water cannon to prevent the police from getting inside.

Six KOJC members who allegedly attacked police personnel in Glory Mountain using bolos were charged with obstruction of justice.

On Friday, Davao Police chief Brig. Gen. Aligre Lamsen Martinez, PNP Director for Operations Maj. Gen. Ronald Lee, and Col. Edwin Portento of the Intelligence Group, along with nine CIDG operatives, two SAF troopers, and one personnel of the traffic enforcement unit were relieved of their posts.

Fajardo said this is to give way to the investigation into the possible lapses committed during these operations. (PNA)