Apollo Quiboloy

Male members allege sexual abuse in Quiboloy’s group, exploitation at SMNI

Herbie Gomez

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Male members allege sexual abuse in Quiboloy’s group, exploitation at SMNI

ABUSE. A former Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) worker and SMNI researcher, identified only as Rene, recounts the alleged exploitation and abuses he suffered when he served as KOJC worker, during a Senate committee hearing on February 19, 2024.


(2nd UPDATE) One witness says he was sexually abused by one of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ's male staff. He says he informed Apollo Quiboloy about it but his complaint fell on deaf ears.

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – More former followers of embattled Davao-based preacher Apollo Quiboloy stepped forward to allege sexual abuses, human trafficking, labor exploitation, and other physical abuses in the religious group Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) and its media arm, the Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI).

Before the Senate committee on women, children, family relations, and gender equality on Monday, February 19, witness “Rene” (not his real name) alleged that he was sexually abused by one of KOJC’s male department heads.

Rene, who broke into tears, alleged that Quiboloy’s associate forced him to engage in sexual acts, claiming it had the approval of Quiboloy.

He claimed to have written to Quiboloy through another associate of the preacher, but his complaint fell on deaf ears.

Rene said the only response he got was when the church associate, Eleanor Cardona, called him to confirm that she received his letter and had forwarded it to Quiboloy.

Cardona, according to Rene, merely had a “fellowship” with him and read him biblical verses.

No salary at SMNI

Rene also told the committee that he once served as a researcher at SMNI without pay and was made to do street-level solicitations after his media work.

At SMNI, he said a female executive slapped him on several occasions.

Another witness, “David,” told senators he worked as a cameraman for SMNI and even covered events at Malacañang, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.

Both witnesses alleged they neither received salaries nor benefits from SMNI, doing so only because they believed they were serving God.

Rene said he was once convinced that Quiboloy was the “appointed son of God” and the “owner of the universe.”

The witnesses said KOJC workers who were given work at SMNI were mostly exploited like them.

“Wala po kaming mga sahod (We had no salaries),” Rene told senators, adding that Quiboloy would give SMNI workers a measly P200 to P300 each as weekly honoraria “depending on his mood.”

He said he was overwhelmed with work at SMNI, including street-level solicitations, which he undertook after his duties at the Quiboloy group’s media arm.

Aside from his media work at SMNI, Rene said he begged on the streets and was given a daily quota of P3,000.

He said there were many minors, with ages ranging from 13 to 16 years old, who were made to beg in the streets.

During his early years with KOJC, Rene said that besides begging in the streets, he also begged in restaurants, plazas, and malls, and even knocked on houses from 8 am to 11 pm, pretending to be deaf and mute, representing bogus charity organizations just so he could meet his daily quotas.

During certain periods of the year, especially from September to December, Rene said he was given a quota of P1.5 million in four months.

He said failure to meet the quota resulted in sanctions, ranging from hard work to torture, and alleged that Quiboloy slapped and hit him on several occasions. He said he and other KOJC workers feared Quiboloy and the preacher’s associates.

Surrender to Quiboloy

Initially, according to Rene, young people like him were promised free education as members, but once they became KOJC workers, they were instructed to cease attending school and abandon their families, all under the guise of serving God and in return for eternal salvation.

Taos puso ko pong inalay ang aking sarili sa Kingdom…. Sinabihan po kami ni Quiboloy na iwan na namin ang pag-aaral, ang aming mga pamilya, at aming mga pangarap sa buhay,” he said.

(With all my heart, I surrendered myself to the Kingdom… Quiboloy told us to leave our studies, our families, and our life dreams behind.)

In a recorded video in an undisclosed Philippine embassy, David, another witness, said he was trained to become a cameraman for SMNI when he was assigned to the KOJC’s logistics department.

Like Rene, David said he neither received a regular salary nor benefits for normal workers when he started his SMNI work as a cameraman. He alleged that he was not enrolled with the Social Security System (SSS) and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and enjoyed no bonuses, leave credits, and other benefits due ordinary workers.

David said most full-time KOJC workers gave their services for free, and only a few people, particularly non-members, were given salaries.

He recalled a time when he told cameramen from other news outfits that he was one of Quiboloy’s scholars when they asked him about how much he was receiving from SMNI.

“We were briefed to tell people that we were scholars when asked about our salaries,” David said in Filipino.

Lawyer: ‘Not true’

Lawyer Kathleen Kaye Laurente, a full-time KOJC worker and legal counsel of the Quiboloy-owned Jose Maria College (JMC) in Davao City, told the committee that the KOJC is a religious organization and its full-time workers were doing missionary work, and not considered regular workers.

KOJC members, however, receive regular honoraria at rates depending on their performance and length of service, among others, she said.

Laurente was reluctant at first to answer Hontiveros’ question if she and another full-time KOJC worker, JMC records and admission director Bryan Alberto, were also being asked to solicit donations in the streets, explaining that they were invited by the Senate committee to speak only about JMC.

Shortly after, she told the committee that “all full-time workers are not doing that.”

“That is not so true,” Laurente said.

She also repeatedly pointed out that the burden of proof lies with the accusers of Quiboloy and other KOJC leaders, and that they enjoy the presumption of innocence based on the law. – Rappler.com

2 Ukrainians, Filipino woman accuse Quiboloy of sexual abuse at Senate hearing

2 Ukrainians, Filipino woman accuse Quiboloy of sexual abuse at Senate hearing


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  1. EJ

    TELL ME YOUR FRIENDS and I will you who you are. . . . . . . E sino ba ang BFF nyan???? Dark Lord, Bastos Lord, etc.

  2. ET

    Hence, SMNI is not only alleged to be a medium for Disinformation but is now also involved in child abuse and worker exploitation.

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Herbie Gomez

Herbie Salvosa Gomez is coordinator of Rappler’s bureau in Mindanao, where he has practiced journalism for over three decades. He writes a column called “Pastilan,” after a familiar expression in Cagayan de Oro, tackling issues in the Southern Philippines.