February 23, 2024

House panel summons Quiboloy to attend SMNI probe

THE House Committee on Legislative Franchises chaired by Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting on Wednesday approved a motion to subpoena Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, the honorary chairperson of Swara Sug Media Corporation, to appear in the panel’s next hearing and answer issues about SMNI’s alleged infractions and the proposed revocation of its franchise.

Swara Sug Media Corporation operates under the business name Sonshine  Media  Network International (SMNI). 

Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel, the committee vice chair, reminded SMNI legal counsel Atty. Mark Tolentino to advise Quiboloy, his principal, to attend the next hearing or the committee might be constrained to issue a contempt order to the religious leader if he fails to show up. 

“We have invited Pastor Quiboloy not just once but on several occasions. We have lot of issues that need to be clarified (by Pastor Quiboloy), especially that his name is in Swara Sug  Media Corporation… This committee has previously issued a subpoena. So paki-advise na lang para di na tayo dumating doon,” Pimentel warned.

Gabriela Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas said the committee has several questions for Quiboloy, and it is about time he appears in Congress to answer these queries. 

“Last time ni-request naman na natin ito. Heads of agencies come here in Congress para sagutin tayo sa ating mga mahahalagang tanong. It’s about time paupuin natin, paharapin natin, at matanong natin (siya) ng diretso sa mga katanungan natin kasi di po masasagot (ito) ng attorney lang,” Brosas said.  

“Up to what extent is Pastor Quiboloy’s influence in SMNI? Ano po ang kaniyang position sa kumpanya sa ngayon? Credited siya sa lahat ng mga SMNI shows. Tapos sasabihin ninyo sa akin ganito lang ang posisyon niya,” she asked. 

She cited the show ‘Laban Kasama ng Bayan’ which identifies as the person behind the show through its closing statement, “Sa ating pinakamamahal, kagagalang at butihing Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy na siyang gumawa, may akda, at nagpahatid ng programang ito.” 

Tolentino replied that Quiboloy is just honorary chairperson of SMNI and does not have a role in its daily operations.

1-RIDER Party-list Rep. Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez, author of House Bill (HB) 9710, which seeks to revoke SMNI’s franchise, said Swara Sug, in the course of its operations, committed multiple violations of its franchise grant. 

Gutierrez cited the changes in Swara Sug’s corporate structure without prior approval from Congress, which SMNI representatives admitted during the panel’s Dec. 5, 2023 hearing, as one such violation.  

“In  this  case,  the  majority owner of Swara Sug,  The Executive Pastor of the  Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the  Name Above Every  Name,  Inc.,  effected  several  changes  that affected  its  ownership.  In 2006, it transitioned from being a non-stock, non-profit corporation to a corporation sole under Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.  However, in  2023 … Apollo Quiboloy was replaced by one Bro. Marlon Acobo in the corporation sole,” he said.