Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao to clear way for Quiboloy’s extradition to US by withdrawing cyber libel charge

PROMDI Party presidential bet Sen. Manny Pacquiao is contemplating on withdrawing the cyber libel charges he filed against Pastor Apollo Quiboloy to clear the way for the immediate extradition and arrest of the religious leader by the United States government.

Lawyer Nikki De Vega, counsel for Pacquiao, stressed that while the senator has a strong case in seeking a reversal of the decision of the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office to dismiss the charges, the senator has deemed it more important “to bring justice to the victims of heinous crimes” allegedly committed by Quiboloy in the US.

In a video statement, De Vega disclosed that the Makati City prosecutor’s office dismissed the l cyber libel charges even without asking Quiboloy to submit a counter affidavit to refute Pacquiao’s charges.

“Interestingly, the case was dismissed even without a counter affidavit from Apollo Quiboloy,” lamented De Vega.

Pacquiao has charged Quiboloy of cyber libel and sought millions of pesos in damages for allegedly falsely accusing the senator of misusing government funds in connection with the construction of the Saranggani Sports Training Center.

The founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Name Above Every Name Church (KOJC) has been indicted before a US federal grand jury for conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion and sex trafficking of children.

Quiboloy, 71, heads the SMNI broadcast station and has been appointed spiritual adviser of President Rodrigo Duterte.

On Monday, Pacquiao cited the numerous criminal charges against Quiboloy for declining an SMNI invitation for a presidential forum scheduled Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Also rejecting the invitation were top presidential candidates Vice President Leni Robredo, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and Sen., Panfilo Lacson who pointed out that the broadcast station’s owner had already publicly declared his support for former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.

Reacting to the Pacquiao snub, Quiboloy called on Pacquiao to “be honest in his reasons” in rejecting SMNI’s invitation and “not to resort to personal attacks not befitting a presidential aspirant.” The broadcast station also reported that the cyber libel case filed by Pacquiao had already been dismissed by the Makati prosecutor’s office.

“While we respect the decision of the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office we respectfully disagree. You see a distinction should be made between fake news and mere criticism,” said De Vega.

She disclosed that a motion for reconsideration is being prepared by the Pacquiao camp as they noted that the investigating prosecutor did not even bother to ask Quiboloy to submit a counter affidavit.

“Ang laban na ito ni Senator Manny ay laban para sa ating mga kababayan na biktima ng fake news at pinagkaitan ng hustisya, (Sen. Manny’s fight is a fight for his countrymen who have been victimized by fake news and were denied justice).”stressed De Vega.

“However we are considering withdrawing our motion so that the US government, thru the Federal Bureau of Investigatio or the FBI, can facilitate the extradition and arrest of Apollo Quiboloy,” the Pacquiao legal counsel stated.

She said: “According to Senator Manny it is more important to bring justice to the victims of heinous crimes. Maraming nasirang buhay ang kailangan bigyan ng ng katarungan. (There are many whose lives were destroyed need to get justice.”

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