Quiboloy to face trafficking, child abuse raps — DOJ

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Quiboloy to face trafficking, child abuse raps � DOJ
Apollo Quiboloy
AFP / Manman Dejeto

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Monday that it had recommended the filing of charges of child abuse and human trafficking against doomsday preacher Apollo Quiboloy. 

This comes after the Justice department granted the petition for review on Quiboloy's case, which was previously dismissed by the Office of the City Prosecutor of Davao City in 2020, leading to the reversal of the dismissal, according to DOJ chief Jesus Crispin Remulla.

“Ang kasong ito ay dumating sa department ngayong taong ito. Four yers na itong nakabinbin dito, yung isa't kalahating taon na nasa ilalim namin. Kaya binantayan namin nang husto at lumalabas talaga rito ay meron talagang kailangan panagutan si Pastor Apollo Quibiloy at ang kanyang mga kasama,” Remulla said in a press briefing with reporters. 

(This case arrived at the department earlier this year. It has been pending here for four years, with one and a half years under our jurisdiction. That's why we closely monitored it, and it appears that Pastor Apollo Quibiloy and his associates really need to be held accountable for something here.)

In granting the petition for review, the DOJ said that it ordered the Office of the City Prosecutor of Davao City to file the case for violation of Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, which mentions a provision of sexual abuse of a minor.

The case of qualified human trafficking, meanwhile, will be filed in a Pasig City court, according to Remulla. 

If Quiboloy is found guilty of qualified human trafficking, a non-bailable offense, Quiboloy may face life imprisonment and a fine of not less than P2 million but not more than P5 million pesos. 

Remulla also said that the department has signed a preliminary hold departure order against the preacher, as well as a lookout bulletin order to prevent Quiboloy from fleeing the country.

Quiboloy, a close ally of former President Rodrigo Duterte, faced several charges including sex trafficking, child sex trafficking and bulk cash smuggling when a federal grand jury in California indicted him in November 2021.

The 2021 indictment mentioned Quiboloy obtaining fraudulent visas for the members of the Kingdom Of Jesus Christ (KOJC) organization to enter the United States.

In February 2022, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation also placed the doomsday preacher on the most wanted list for “his alleged participation in a labor trafficking scheme.”

Both the Senate and House of Representatives have issued subpoenas for Quiboloy after he did not show up in the separate hearings on the alleged abuses being linked to KOJC.

RELATED: Senate panel summons Quiboloy after probe snub

Failing to attend any government inquiry, the doomsday preacher accused President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos on February 21 of allegedly colluding with the United States to plot his assassination.

RELATED: US has not yet requested Quiboloy extradition – DOJ

In response, Marcos dismissed Quiboloy’s claim, urging him to face the investigations.

“Maybe he’s just afraid… The best way to diffuse that situation for him is to testify before the committees in the House and the Senate,” Marcos said on February 27. 

Aside from the criminal charges faced by Quiboloy, his network, Sonshine Media Network International, has been issued a cease-and-desist order by the National Telecommunications Commission after it failed to comply with its suspension order.

On Monday, supporters of Quiboloy gathered at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila to rally support for the doomsday preacher.  — with reports from Cristina Chi, Daphne Galvez and Bella Cariaso.

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