Sex abuse, trafficking raps set vs Quiboloy

Daphne Galvez - The Philippine Star
Sex abuse, trafficking raps set vs Quiboloy
Apollo Quiboloy
AFP / Manman Dejeto

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the filing of sexual abuse and qualified trafficking charges against Kingdom of Jesus Christ leader Apollo Quiboloy.

The order, according to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, reverses a 2020 decision of the Davao City prosecutor’s office to dismiss the charges of rape, child abuse and human trafficking against Quiboloy and five others.

Remulla said the DOJ granted the petition for review, which remained pending before the department for over four years.

In granting the petition, the DOJ directed the Office of the City Prosecutor of Davao City to file a case for violation of Republic Act 7610, or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, specifically on the provision of sexual abuse of a minor. It also ordered the filing of a case for qualified trafficking before a Pasig trial court.

“We studied the case thoroughly. Quiboloy and his cohorts should be held responsible for the crime the complainant, who was 17 years old when it happened, alleged,” Remulla said yesterday at a press briefing.

Aside from ordering the filing of charges, Remulla said he would also appoint a special panel of prosecutors to focus on the case and request the Supreme Court to order the transfer of these cases to a Manila court.

According to the DOJ, the 17-year-old victim alleged a series of abuses that started in 2011 and included a rape in September 2014. The minor also alleged emotional and physical mistreatment and forced labor without compensation – all under the guise of religious service to the church Quiboloy founded.

Remulla said the filing of charges effectively prevents Quiboloy from getting extradited to another country – particularly in the US where he faces multiple charges of sex and labor trafficking.

“We do not want them (US) to think that we are filing the cases to bar the extradition. We just thought it better to give justice to the victim here, considering that the crime happened over 10 years ago,” he explained.

Remulla earlier said the Philippines has yet to receive a request from the US to extradite Quiboloy, who is on the Most Wanted List of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. — Evelyn Macairan

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