July 16, 2024

The hunt for fugitive “Appointed son of God” Pastor Apollo Quiboloy is at a standstill.
The crackdown of his known lairs proved futile.
Despite the number of law enforcers looking for him to serve the warrant for his arrest, he remains elusive.
Though the Bureau of Immigration maintains that the embattled preacher, who is facing charges like rape and human trafficking is in the Philippines, his actual whereabouts is unknown. Only a handful of his supporters and avid followers are aware of where he is he.
One of those who admitted knowing the whereabouts of Pastor Quiboloy is former President Rodrigo R. Duterte. He specifically said so.
In an interview that he gave to a media outfit a couple of days back, he confessed that he knows where his friend is hiding, but is not saying where. He wants to keep it a secret between the two of them. We know Duterte to be a joker at times.
This time, however, judging by the tone of his voice, his close association with the fugitive and his poker face is delivering the message, there is no reason to doubt that he must be telling the truth.
With what Duterte admitted, one might think that he is obstructing justice. In fact, he is. If he was an ordinary man with ordinary means and ordinary influence, the Department of Justice, which is already receiving all kinds of flak for its utter failure to apprehend Quiboloy, would have filed a case against him for obstruction of justice. But Duterte is no ordinary man. He is a man of influence, a lawyer and a former President at that. He can easily get away with his statements with nary a worry about the consequences of what he says or does.
And that is what is worrisome. The actuations of Duterte are casting a doubt on the effectiveness of our justice system. It is fostering an idea that in this country, there is a double standard of justice. By his silence, Duterte is reinforcing this thought.
What is more, Duterte as a lawyer has the civic and moral responsibility to uphold the law. He has the obligation to protect our society against people, friend and foe alike, who have violated the law. One such person is Quiboloy.
Regardless of whether they are friends, he has a sworn declaration to abide by the laws of the country and uphold the rule of law. His friendship with Quiboloy ends where his obligation to the country begins.
Duterte ought to be the first to know this. Nor can he invoke confidentiality because he is not the lawyer on record of Quiboloy.
The cases filed against Apollo Quiboloy are of national interest and have a far reaching effect and consequence on the expectations of the Filipino people. The pastor is a public figure and all eyes are dead-centered on him on how he is going to defend himself. The only way for him to prove his innocence is for him to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts. This can only happen if he is arrested or voluntarily surrenders. Apparently, the latter is no longer an option.
Duterte remains confident that Quiboloy is innocent. That all charges against the embattled preacher are trumped-up and fabricated – politically motivated. If this is the case, Duterte ought to shape up and stand for the innocence of his friend. He must help him.
The only way is for him to convince Quiboloy to surrender. If he does not, he must reveal where the appointed son of God is so that he can be arrested and the cases against him proceed in the ordinary course justice.