Apollo Quiboloy

A peek into Apollo Quiboloy’s expensive gun collection

Jodesz Gavilan

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A peek into Apollo Quiboloy’s expensive gun collection

Illustration by Raffy De Guzman

EXCLUSIVE: Doomsday preacher Apollo Quiboloy owns firearms amounting to at least P2.3 million ($41,000). At least five pistols are worth over P200,000 ($3,500) each. 

READ: Part 1 | Inside Apollo Quiboloy’s lavish world: Mansions, rich-and-famous lifestyle in North America
Part 2 | Quiboloy in the US: More multi-million properties in Las Vegas, Hawaii

Doomsday preacher Pastor Apollo Quiboloy did not only accumulate multi-million-peso properties abroad. The self-appointed “Son of God” also has an expensive arsenal of licensed firearms.

A Rappler investigation found that Quiboloy, the leader of the controversial Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC), has a collection of at least 19 firearms whose estimated worth is about P2.3 million ($41,000)*, documents obtained by Rappler showed. 

This estimate is based on the current market value of each of the 13 firearms that Rappler was able to independently verify by consulting popular gun stores or directly inquiring with manufacturers. We will update this once we obtain more information about the other five.

Two documents show almost entirely different sets of firearms, save for five guns that appear on both lists. The documents also differ on the indicated date of approval for the licenses. Information in the two documents, however, are both registered with the Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO).

One of the documents shows 11 guns, while the other has 13, or a total of 19 linked to Quiboloy. One license recently expired on March 5, 2024, and another one is set to expire in September 2024, records showed.

At least 13, however, have an expiry date of April 2033 – indicating that Quiboloy obtained these licenses in 2023. This means that he benefited from Republic Act No. 11766, which extended the validity of a firearm license from four to 10 years. 

RA 11766 was signed into law on May 6, 2022 by known Quiboloy friend and then-president Rodrigo Duterte, just a little over a month before his term ended. Duterte himself obtained 10-year licenses for 358 of his own firearms in June 2022, a few weeks after the law was enacted. 

Quiboloy is on the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most-wanted list for sex trafficking of children and promotional money laundering, among others. In the Philippines, the doomsday preacher was charged with human trafficking, a non-bailable offense, on top of a March 14 arrest warrant issued by a regional trial court in the Davao region for child abuse and sexual abuse.

Expensive pistols are Quiboloy’s firearms of choice

Quiboloy has a Type 5 license, as stated in the document that contains information on the firearms. The document obtained by Rappler certifies that these “information exist in FEO records.” 

Individuals who have a Type 5 license can own more than 15 firearms because the law does not impose an explicit limit. This, however, is subject to a process where a prospective license holder needs to submit requirements, including results from drug and psychological tests. 

All but one – or at least 18 – firearms in Quiboloy’s vault are pistols. Republic Act No. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act of 2012 defines a pistol as “a hand-operated firearm having a chamber integral with or permanently aligned with the bore which may be self-loading.” 

At least 15 pistols listed have complete details, meaning that the document states the pistol’s make, model, caliber, and serial number or “key identifiers of a firearm,” according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. “Make” refers to the name of the firearms manufacturer. The “model” is a way to identify each firearm produced by a manufacturer. 

The model of three pistols licensed under Quiboloy are not indicated in the documents.

But based on firearms with complete details, the most expensive in the doomsday preacher’s vault are the pistols manufactured by Philippine-based Metrillo Gun Corporation. Quiboloy has at least five Metrillo pistols, with a total conservative estimate of around P1.5 million ($27,000). 

Rappler was able to obtain price quotations of specific pistol models – three Fastidious, one Masterpiece, and one Phenomenal – indicated in the documents. 

A Masterpiece pistol can range from P285,000 ($5,000) to P420,000 ($7,400), depending on whether it is customized or not. A Fastidious, meanwhile, can go as high as P650,000 ($11,500). The cheapest Phenomenal model is P420,000 ($7,400), while the most expensive is worth P750,000 ($13,300). 

Duterte also owns three Masterpiece pistols from Metrillo. 

Quiboloy owns two pistols made by CZ, a Czech Republic-based manufacturer. One is a 75 TS Orange pistol, “a top of the range sport special,” that costs P195,000 ($3,466). The other, meanwhile, is a Shadow 2 pistol with a price tag of P100,000 ($1,700). It is described as “an all-steel, large-capacity SA/DA pistol that is currently the most celebrated firearm in today’s dynamic sport disciplines.” 

The sole rifle licensed under the doomsday preacher’s name is a Colt that has no indicated model, but one of the cheapest goes for P61,000 ($1,080) a piece.

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Why own guns?

Gun ownership is not unusual, and that includes even religious leaders. 

In the United States, for example, Pew Research in 2017 found that 41% of evangelicals own guns. Sociologist of religion Jayeel Cornelio explained that, in the US context, guns and God go hand-in-hand as a reflection of a theological worldview that Christ is “masculine, dominant, and ready to fight.” 

This becomes dangerous when they start believing that people who are not like them – those who have opposing views on important issues – are “potential enemies.” 

“Gun ownership reflects two possibilities in the Christian worldview: As a form of protection or in preparation for a possible war,” he told Rappler on Monday, April 1. “Either way, the working assumption is that there is an imminent threat for which gun ownership is necessary.” 

Quiboloy may have only 19 firearms in his vault, but one can view this as part of a “bigger war that he is waging,” especially as he continues to face legal issues stemming from accusations of abuse by former KOJC members.

“He is after all a countercultural, counterintuitive religious leader,” Cornelio said. “He knows that many would not like what he preaches so that could be one reason why he feels threatened.” 

It is important to note that this report covers only guns that are officially licensed under Quiboloy’s name. These do not include other possible firearms that are in use by his security.

In February 2018, when Quiboloy was temporarily detained, Hawaii News Now reported that authorities discovered “parts to assemble military-style rifles” and undeclared cash in the plane that he and other KOJC associates were on. 

A former church member also claimed that the doomsday pastor would arrive in his vast property in Davao City with lots of firearms. He also supposedly witnessed Duterte and his daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte, leave the premises with bags of guns. The former president denied this claim, calling it “a very stupid proposition,” and even questioned where Quiboloy would get these guns. 

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Quiboloy’s piling riches

The over P2-million gun vault of Quiboloy (about $41,000) – is the latest in a slew of discoveries about his vast wealth. Rappler previously published reports that explored multi-million-peso homes traced to Quiboloy and his controversial KOJC – four currently owned and one that has already been sold. 

The four have a total estimated value of $9.07 million (P503 million), based on current market prices. If the property sold in 2018 is included, the total value would go up to $10.83 million (P601 million). 

The properties found to have current links to Quiboloy and the KOJC include the following:

  • Six-bedroom mansion in Los Angeles, California, USA –  $2.57 million (P142.31 million)
  • Five-bedroom mansion in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – $2.97 million (P165 million)
  • Seven-bedroom house in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada – $1.79 million (P99.5 million)
  • Four-bedroom house in Brampton, Ontario, Canada – $1.74 million (P96.25 million) 

There is also a property in Hawaii worth $1.76 million (P97.71 million) that was the subject of a ruse sale in July 2018, months after Quiboloy was temporarily detained in 2018. The listed owners of the company it was sold to are directly linked to the pastor, while its address leads to a KOJC church.

KOJC is far from being the only church that has this much wealth and properties. According to Cornelio, having that much resources that could be claimed to come from God would be “irrefutable to a believer.”

“For any religious group, the mark of success is the accumulation of wealth,” he said. “It is much easier to say that you have God’s anointing if you can concretely identify the ‘blessings.’”

One way that Quiboloy could justify his wealth is to say that “it is a demonstration of the fulfillment of God’s calling” for him and the KOJC, Cornelio said. Obtaining properties both in the Philippines and abroad happened because God is “at work in them.”

But Quiboloy is accused of accumulating his wealth by forcing members to not just give money, but also solicit donations in various places across the Philippines and even the world. (READ: ‘Root of all evil’: Quiboloy church’s demands for money mire followers in debt)

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Following the publication of Rappler’s investigation into Quiboloy’s multi-million-peso mansions, some supposed KOJC supporters defended their leader online by saying that the properties are owned by the entire church. These are aside from the intense defense they mounted against allegations of abuse. 

Why are many people still defending Quiboloy? Cornelio said that the KOJC is a “high-demand, high-control religion” where so much is at stake when one joins – referring to demands and responsibilities, as well as repercussions when members stray from what is ordered. This leads to their identities being “fully intertwined with the institution itself.”

“So effectively, individuality gives way to group solidarity [and] for this reason, an attack on Quiboloy is an attack on all of them,” he said. 

“But that is also where all the problem lies: not just the lack of accountability when the leader becomes corrupt, but also people’s inability to recognize that something is already wrong,” Cornelio added.

Quiboloy remains untouchable – despite having an existing arrest warrant from a local court, an arrest order from the Senate, and landing on the FBI’s most wanted list. Will he remain invincible?  – Rappler.com

*$1 = P56

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Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and impunity beats, producing in-depth and investigative reports particularly on the quest for justice of victims of former president Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs and war on dissent.