Marcos, First Lady ignore Quiboloy rants

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Marcos, First Lady ignore Quiboloy rants
President Marcos and First Lady Liza Marcos answer questions about love from netizens in ‘BBM Vlog 254: Ask Us Anything With FL’ episode uploaded February 11, 2024
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Accused by Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder and leader Apollo Quiboloy of conspiring with the US to kill him, President Marcos and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos appeared unmindful of the religious leader’s rants, opting to have a post-Valentine’s Day date instead.

In his Facebook account, Marcos posted a photo of him and Liza about to have dinner with the caption “Date night for the first couple.”

The First Couple was smiling as they faced each other on the long dining table, which was decorated with flowers and candles. The photo was uploaded on the same day Quiboloy accused them of plotting his assassination and called on the President to step down.

Malacañang has not responded to repeated media requests for reactions to Quiboloy’s allegations.

In a taped audio message released last Wednesday, Quiboloy, a known spiritual adviser to former president Rodrigo Duterte, claimed that his life is in danger and that Marcos and Liza have handed him over to the US government.

Quoting unnamed sources, Quiboloy said US operatives are planning to either kidnap or assassinate him.

Cases have been filed against the religious leader for having used his group for sex trafficking operation – including forcing girls and young women to have sex with him under threats of “eternal damnation.” Quiboloy has denied the accusations.

In 2022, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released a wanted poster urging the public to provide information on Quiboloy’s whereabouts.

The poster said the pastor is wanted for alleged participation in a labor trafficking scheme that brought sect members to the US through fraudulently obtained visas.

Members of Quiboloy’s group were forced to solicit donations for a “bogus” charity and that the donations were used to finance the sect operations and the “lavish lifestyles” of its leaders, the FBI added.

The poster noted that Quiboloy was indicted by a federal grand jury in the US District Court for the Central District of California for “conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, and sex trafficking of children; sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion; conspiracy; bulk cash smuggling.”

A federal warrant was issued for Quiboloy’s arrest on Nov. 10, 2021.

Despite Quiboloy accusing them of trying to silence him, the First Couple said they still try to spend time with each other despite their busy schedules.

“I suppose it’s just direct communication. Don’t communicate through your phone. Talk to each other face to face. Don’t bother with social media when it comes to relationships. Talk to each other face to face. Hold hands. Go have dinner. Walk down the beach, do something. Don’t do it digitally,” Marcos said in a recent Youtube vlog.

“We try to find, you know, five minutes here, 20 minutes there, we eat together maybe, whatever the schedule allows, we take full advantage of it,” he added.

Liza revealed in the same vlog that she and Marcos have a “date night” every Wednesday.

Tired of antics

At the House of Representatives, Majority Leader and Tingog party-list Rep. Jude Acidre said they would deal with Quiboloy accordingly, adding he would never dignify the sect leader, as he has grown “tired of his antics and tirades.”

“Now I don’t think being an ‘appointed son of God’ puts you above the law and I’m sure no one is above the law,” Acidre said in response to a reporter’s question, referring to the sect leader who went into hiding to avoid a House and a Senate subpoena and possible arrest by the International Criminal Court.

“You may have already heard of his 30-minute statement in audio file. Papatulan ba natin yun (Do we have to mind it)?”

“We will implement the law. If he does not appear then we will be constrained to execute the subpoena and make sure that he is here to answer the questions and issues raised against him,” he said.

Quiboloy is the founder of controversial network SMNI. The House committee on legislative franchises chaired by Parañaque City 2nd district Rep. Gus Tambunting is investigating alleged franchise violations of SMNI, under indefinite suspension by the National Telecommunications Commission.

Signed by Speaker Martin Romualdez, the subpoena sought Quiboloy’s presence in the scheduled hearing of the Tambunting panel on March 12.

Quiboloy earlier lashed out at President Marcos, and at several others including Romualdez, whom he blamed for his predicament.

“Believe me, he is a pastor. He commands a good number of people around the world. He knows what he is doing. He knows that he is clearly defying the law. He knows he is injuring the political system that we have in place. He is disrespecting the authorities and I think he will be made accountable on that at the right time,” Acidre said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP), meanwhile, said it is ready to assist the Senate if it orders Quiboloy’s arrest.

The PNP was reacting to Sen. Risa Hontiveros’ warning to Quiboloy that he could be arrested if he snubs the next hearing on alleged cases of abuses within his religious group.

“In case there is an official request from the Senate for the service of that subpoena, then the PNP is ready,” PNP public information officer Col. Jean Fajardo said at a news briefing in Camp Crame.

Fajardo also denied Quiboloy’s claim that the administration is in cahoots with the US in trying to eliminate him and his group.

She stressed the PNP is focused on its mandate, which is maintaining peace and order in the country.

“We categorically deny any knowledge of what he called connivance,” Fajardo said.

The PNP also has no information about any threat on Quiboloy’s life.

But if Quiboloy is fearful for his safety, Fajardo said he can always ask for security from the PNP. — Delon Porcalla, Emmanuel Tupas

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