Apollo Quiboloy

‘Just get yourself arrested,’ Duterte advises Quiboloy

Ferdinand Zuasola

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

‘Just get yourself arrested,’ Duterte advises Quiboloy

CONTROVERSIAL PALS. In this 2016 photo, Rodrigo Duterte sits with his friend and 'spiritual adviser' Apollo Quiboloy, who has since been indicted for sex trafficking in the US and gotten some ABS-CBN frequencies.

Manman Dejeto/Rappler

Ex-president Rodrigo Duterte downplays Pastor Apollo Quiboloy's criminal cases in the United States, calling them 'maliit na kaso'

DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines – Former president Rodrigo Duterte has advised his embattled friend, the controversial Davao-based preacher Apollo Quiboloy, to prepare for his arrest unless he changed his mind about defying a Senate panel that is investigating alleged abuses suffered by his former followers.

“Just get yourself arrested,” Duterte, addressing the doomsday preacher, told a late-night news conference on Tuesday, February 27.

The former president added: “This is a free country. If you (Quiboloy) don’t want to go there (to the Senate), then get yourself arrested. I will give him the free choice.”

Duterte also downplayed Quiboloy’s criminal cases in the United States, calling them “maliit na kaso” (minor cases).

“America would not prioritize that. He is free to roam around the country. His case is in America, not here. He doesn’t have a case in the Philippines. So, he is free to roam around the country,” Duterte told reporters.

The controversial preacher is known for his close associations with the ex-president, who has been his friend since Duterte’s tenure as mayor of Davao City.

Quiboloy and two of his church associates are considered fugitives in the US, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) including them in its “most wanted” list for alleged crimes, which Duterte considered to be minor cases.

The three, along with six others, were indicted by a federal jury in a district court in California in late 2021 for the following crimes:

  • Sex trafficking by force
  • Fraud and coercion
  • Sex trafficking of children
  • Marriage fraud
  • Fraud and misuse of visas
  • Bulk cash smuggling
  • Promotional money laundering
  • Concealment money laundering
  • International promotional money laundering

The US has yet to send an extradition request to the Philippine government concerning Quiboloy who is scheduled to be tried in the US this November.

But in a February 21 statement, the US embassy in Manila said, “For more than a decade, Apollo Quiboloy engaged in serious human rights abuses, including a pattern of systemic and pervasive rape of girls as young as 11 years old, and he is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. We are confident that Quiboloy will face justice for his heinous crimes.”

Duterte’s advice came hours before President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. urged Quiboloy to submit himself to the investigating Senate panel and answer the accusations leveled at him by former Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) workers to avoid complicating the situation.

Marcos told reporters on Wednesday, February 28, “Well, I would just advise him that just kung mayroon naman siyang sasabihin… he has an opportunity in the hearings both in the House and in the Senate, to say his side of the story. Kaya po sinasabi niya, ‘Hindi totoo lahat ‘yan, hindi totoo, walang nangyaring ganyan,’ ‘di sabihin niya.”

(Well, I would just advise him that if he has something to say… he has an opportunity in the hearings both in the House and in the Senate, to say his side of the story. That’s why he’s been saying, “That’s not true, nothing like that happened,” then he should say it there.)

He added, “We’re trying to be fair here and allow him an opportunity and fora to make his case. So, I think he should take advantage of that.”

Quiboloy was summoned by the Senate committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality on February 22 after he snubbed three of its hearings since January on the alleged abuses committed against his former KOJC members.

Before the Senate committee, the preacher’s former followers took turns detailing alleged crimes, including sexual abuses, torture, human trafficking, and labor exploitation, as they narrated their experiences about the inner workings of the Quiboloy-led religious group.

The committee’s chairperson, Senator Risa Hontiveros, previously warned that she would hold Quiboloy in contempt and order him arrested unless he attended the March 5 hearing of the Senate panel.

Under the Senate rules on panel investigations in aid of legislation, Hontiveros’ committee has the power to cite Quiboloy in contempt and order his arrest and detention unless he cooperated. – with reports from Herbie Gomez/Rappler

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!