Apollo Quiboloy

[Rappler Investigates] Son of a gun!

Chay F. Hofileña

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

[Rappler Investigates] Son of a gun!

Alyssa Arizabal/Rappler

'As if to bolster allegations against the controversial preacher, a recent Rappler investigation unearthed multimillion-peso properties in North America linked to Quiboloy and his Kingdom of Jesus Christ'

What would you do if one day you were proclaimed the son of God, then managed to set up your own kingdom with a vast garden, and harvested humongous resources? Would you: 

(a) Share your resources with the needy and selflessly preach about your father’s goodness? 

(b) Keep the resources to yourself and share them with both the needy and influential, but foolish politicians whose loyalty and protection you can buy?

(c) Enjoy the perks of divinity and everlasting life to the hilt and care about nothing else?

If you choose (a), you would be more aligned with Christian teaching. 

If you choose (b), there’s much you have in common with forced-into-hiding and now-feeling-beleaguered preacher, Apollo Quiboloy. Chances are, you are banking on the idolatry of your followers, preying on the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of ambitious men and women with whom you have established a symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship. (But, wait, if you were truly the son of God, why would you care about the loyalty and protection afforded you by worldly politicians?) 

If you choose the last option, you must be a fake son of God.

Our Mindanao coordinator and editor Herbie Gomez has been closely monitoring and writing about Quiboloy since December 2021. This was after then-justice reporter Lian Buan reported in November 2021 about a 74-page US indictment against the Davao-based preacher. (READ: US indictment: Quiboloy ‘victims’ worked ‘long hours’ to solicit; funds sent to PH)

Herbie and Inday Espina-Varona, Rappler’s former Regions head, wrote extensively about Quiboloy’s alleged abusive behavior a little more than two years ago. Women with firsthand knowledge of Quiboloy’s alleged sexual abuses and the church’s seemingly bottomless thirst for money came forward to tell their painful experiences.

Later, in February 2022, Herbie reported on Quiboloy landing on the FBI’s most wanted list. (READ: Quiboloy, 2 associates on FBI’s most wanted list) More recently, we found out that a California judge had unsealed an arrest warrant against Quiboloy, which could signal the start of an extradition request from the US. 

PROPERTIES, PROPERTIES. As if to bolster allegations against the controversial preacher, a recent Rappler investigation unearthed multimillion-peso properties in North America linked to Quiboloy and his Kingdom of Jesus Christ. (READ: Inside Apollo Quiboloy’s lavish world: Mansions, rich-and-famous lifestyle in North America)

Online and determined digging by researcher-writer Jodesz Gavilan, with an initial lead from Herbie, led to the discovery of properties in Calabasas, California, in the US; in Surrey, British Columbia, and in Brampton, Ontario, in Canada. The US property is worth over P142 million; the British Columbia property, close to P100 million; and the Ontario property, over P96 million.

The self-appointed son of God and his Kingdom of Jesus Christ bought worldly properties in North America valued at over P338 million (roughly US$6 million). If you have additional information to share about properties we haven’t discovered, email me or investigative@rappler.com.

The discoveries exclude properties in Davao, in the southern part of the Philippines – home base of Quiboloy. If you’ve never been inside Glory Mountain, the impressive property estimated to be eight hectares big, you’ll see some grand photos in the story that Jodesz and Herbie jointly worked on. Inside the well-manicured lawns are the Jose Maria College and the gigantic King Dome that, once completed, promises to outdo the P9-billion-plus Iglesia ni Cristo Philippine Arena in Bulacan.

I’m not even talking about his fleet of aircraft that so many politicians, like bosom buddy and former president Rodrigo Duterte, ended up using. The need to purchase aircraft means this son of God can’t be omnipresent – quite disappointing, isn’t it?

GUNS, GUNS. That’s not everything. Remember revelations in the Senate by a witness whose pseudonym was Rene? He told the Senate that he saw Rodrigo and daughter Sara Duterte (now vice president and education secretary) leaving Glory Mountain with bags of assorted firearms. Okay, let’s assume he exaggerated. Still, what I would find baseline useful is information that Quiboloy is perhaps one of the sources of firearms that the Dutertes have in their possession.

Another story you shouldn’t miss is our exposé on The Duterte dynasty: Powered by guns. A team consisting of Jodesz, Lian Buan, and Jairo Bolledo pieced together this Rappler exclusive on the number of firearms that at least five members of the Duterte family own. We republished this story because we came across new data that showed Paolo Duterte had more guns than his siblings Sara and Sebastian, and brother-in-law Manases Carpio. His collection totaled 172, compared to his father’s 363 – just close to half.

The team classified the guns (all licensed, to be fair) according to type, and they tried to estimate prices, based on what’s out in the market. Find out more by reading the story. Maybe like me, you’d end up asking, “What’s with this fascination with guns in this family, a number of whom are, or were, public officials?”

BIKING LANES IN THE METRO. Let’s shift focus a bit to mobility and environment issues. Have you ever tried biking around the streets of Metro Manila and doing a full loop? Environment reporter Iya Gozum did a full 120 kilometers to check on the conditions of bike lanes in the metro and rated them based on various criteria. Read her report: How bike-friendly is Metro Manila? We rode 120 kilometers to investigate.

This story is also aligned with efforts to #MakeManilaLiveable. The metropolis is choking and residents want to make the quality of life in Metro Manila better – while they still can. Learn more about the movement here– Rappler.com

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Chay F. Hofileña

Chay Hofileña is editor of Rappler's investigative and in-depth section, Newsbreak. Among Rappler’s senior founders and editors, she is also in charge of training. She obtained her graduate degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism in New York.