Apollo Quiboloy

Hontiveros: What’s taking PNP so long to revoke Quiboloy’s gun licenses?

Jodesz Gavilan

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Hontiveros: What’s taking PNP so long to revoke Quiboloy’s gun licenses?

PREACHER. Kingdom of Jesus Christ leader Apollo Quiboloy in an undated photo in Davao City.

Sourced photo

A Rappler investigation finds that Apollo Quiboloy has at least 19 licensed guns. Senator Risa Hontiveros says these guns may be emboldening the preacher to hide.

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday, April 22, said the Philippine National Police (PNP) should stop making excuses and revoke the firearm licenses issued to fugitive preacher Apollo Quiboloy as he faces criminal cases in the Philippines and abroad.

In a statement, Hontiveros said it is strange how slow the PNP is in taking action despite multiple arrest warrants already out against Quiboloy over allegations of abuse inside the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC).

Kung talagang kasangga namin sila sa pagpapanagot sa mga pambabastos ni Quiboloy sa ating mga institusyon, dapat ginagawa nila ang lahat para mahuli siya, at isang mahalagang paraan ang pagbawi ng mga armas, lalo na ng isang pugante,” the senator said.

Baka kaya ang lakas ng loob magtago ni Quiboloy dahil sa mga armas at baril na pumoprotekta sa kanya,” she added.

(If the PNP is our ally in holding Quiboloy accountable for disrespecting our institutions, they should do everything to capture him, and one key way to do it is to revoke his firearms, especially since he is considered a fugitive. Maybe he has the gall to hide because of the guns that protect him.)

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A Rappler investigation found that the doomsday preacher has at least 19 firearms with an estimated value of about P2.3 million ($41,000). Licenses of least 13 of these are set to expire in April 2033, indicating that they were granted in 2023. This means that he benefited from Republic Act No. 11766, signed by his friend, then-president Rodrigo Duterte, which extended the validity of a license from four to 10 years.

But the PNP in early April said that Quiboloy still cannot be considered “armed and dangerous” because there are no indications of prior violence.

Quiboloy is the subject of arrest warrants issued by courts in Davao City and Pasig City, aside from a pending Senate arrest order after he failed to attend hearings into allegations against him and his church.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation, meanwhile, placed Quiboloy in its most-wanted list in early 2022 for sex trafficking of children and promotional money laundering, among others. An FBI poster indicates that Quiboloy allegedly forced his followers to “solicit donations for a bogus charity, donations that actually were used to finance church operations and the lavish lifestyle of its leaders.”

Sa dami at bigat ng pending cases ni Quiboloy, siguro naman puwede nang bawiin ang mga armas niya,” Hontiveros said. “Sa kasong human trafficking pa lang, non-bailable at lifetime imprisonment na ang parusa, kaya ano pa hinihintay ng PNP?

(With the number and gravity of Quiboloy’s pending cases, they can already revoke his firearms’ licenses. What is the PNP waiting for when the cases include human trafficking, which is non-bailable and can lead to lifetime imprisonment if he is convicted?)

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Apollo Quiboloy and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, from abuse to multi-million properties

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Quiboloy on April 6 said he will not be caught alive, and that he will only respond to the allegations if the US does not intervene. He also accused the Marcos administration of conspiring with the Americans.

“Ako po ay hindi nagtatago sa kasong ito dahil ako po ay may kasalanan. Hindi po, he said. “Ako ay umiiwas dahil pinoprotektahan ko ang aking sarili.”

(I am not hiding from this case because I am guilty. No. I am avoiding it because I am protecting myself.)

Duterte said he does not want to be caught in the legal issues faced by his friend Quiboloy. The former president, however, admitted that he remains in touch with the fugitive pastor. – Rappler.com

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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.