Senate probe sought on Quiboloy church's alleged sexual abuse of children

Senate probe sought on Quiboloy church's alleged sexual abuse of children
Apollo Quiboloy, head of "the Kingdom of Jesus Christ," a non-Catholic religious group and spiritual adviser of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte, speaks during a press conference in Davao City in southern island of Mindanao on May 23, 2016.
AFP / Manman Dejeto

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the alleged human trafficking, sexual abuse, rape and child abuse incidents committed by members of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ — a religious organization led by controversial preacher Apollo Quiboloy.

Filed on Monday, Senate Resolution 884 calls on the appropriate Senate committees to investigate how the Kingdom of Jesus Christ reportedly coerced children to perform sexual acts on adults and sexually trafficked minors — findings of which may also serve as a baseline assessment of the Philippines' own human trafficking laws.

"An investigation in aid of legislation will also allow us to determine whether our updated human trafficking laws are able to cover large-scale and systemic acts of trafficking done under the cover of a religious organization," the resolution penned by Hontiveros noted.

The resolution also noted that Quiboloy has been indicted by a court in California in 2021 related to his alleged "conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion."

The proposed Senate investigation seeks to launch a domestic investigation into Quiboloy, who Hontiveros emphasized "remains free to run the operations of (the Kingdom of Jesus Christ)" even as the alleged criminal acts he and his group is accused of are "taking place even at present."

An arrest warrant against Quiboloy was issued two years ago on Nov. 10, 2021, according to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation's website.

Last week, Rep. Arlene Brosas (Gabriela Women's Party) called on the Marcos administration to facilitate the extradition of Quiboloy in connection to the cases in the United States pertaining to his "appalling crimes."

The US Department of Treasury in 2022 blocked Quiboloy's assets over what it described as "serious human rights abuses" committed by the preacher.

"For more than a decade, Apollo Carreon Quiboloy engaged in serious human rights abuse, including a pattern of systemic and pervasive rape of girls as young as 11 years old, as well as other physical abuse," the US Treasury said 

— Cristina Chi

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