Duterte Fact Checks

FACT CHECK: Video of Duterte attending Quiboloy’s birthday is from 2023


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FACT CHECK: Video of Duterte attending Quiboloy’s birthday is from 2023
Neither former president Rodrigo Duterte nor embattled preacher Apollo Quiboloy was seen as the latter marked his 74th birthday on April 25 for the first time as a fugitive

Claim: Former president Rodrigo Duterte attended the birthday celebration of doomsday preacher Apollo Quiboloy, who is currently the subject of the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s manhunt operations over sexual abuse and human trafficking cases.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in a video posted on X (formerly Twitter) on April 25, coinciding with Quiboloy’s 74th birthday. As of writing, it has already gained 885,900 views, 1,000 likes, and 463 reposts.

The video is accompanied by the text “Nakakatawa ang PNP haha hindi nila [mahuli] [i]to?” (The PNP is funny. They cannot arrest this person?) The caption, along with the timing of the post, implies that the PNP has failed to arrest the embattled Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader despite being recently seen in public with Duterte.

The bottom line: The video featured in the X post was from Quiboloy’s birthday celebration in 2023, not 2024.

An Instagram post from Senator Bong Go dated April 26, 2023, shows Duterte and Quiboloy during the latter’s birthday dinner in Davao City. The two are wearing the same clothes shown in the X post. 

Authorities monitored the KOJC celebration for Quiboloy’s 74th birthday last month but did not report any sightings of the pastor. (READ: Quiboloy on the run, but cash keeps coming as gifts for his 74th birthday)

Quiboloy still at large: Quiboloy remains at large, evading warrants of arrest related to a non-bailable human trafficking case and alleged sexual and child abuse case. In a briefing on April 25, the justice department said the embattled preacher is still in the Philippines. (PRIMER: Investigations, cases against Apollo Quiboloy)

On March 19, the Senate also ordered Quiboloy’s arrest after the preacher was cited in contempt for failing to attend Senate committee hearings on the same allegations.

Aside from this, Quiboloy is also on the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted list after a California court indicted him in 2021 for sex trafficking. (READ: Apollo Quiboloy and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, from abuse to multi-million properties)


Following the issuance of an arrest warrant against Quiboloy, Duterte denied allegations that he was harboring his close friend from authorities.

In an audio recording made public by his group on April 6, the fugitive pastor denied that he was hiding and claimed he was only protecting himself against “extradition.”

Rappler has already published several fact-checks about Quiboloy:

– Kyle Marcelino/Rappler.com

Kyle Marcelino is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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