(MDNN Digital) – Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) founder Pastor Apollo Quiboloy claimed that the charges filed against him by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are part of being the “Appointed Son of God” and are lies instigated by the “Devil.”
Quiboloy, who is President Rodrigo Duterte’s close friend and spiritual adviser, said it is difficult to be the ‘Appointed Son’ because people will still criticize and throw mud at you.
“Mahirap ang ‘Appointed Son’ kasi ginagawa mo na ang kalooban ng lahat ng Ama, pero gagawin ka pang masama, pagwiwikaan ng masama, ididikit sa’yo ang lahat ng putik,” he said.
Quiboloy, who founded the religious sect in 1985, explained about persecution and accusations, quoting a verse from the Bible, Romans 8:35.
“If we talk about persecution and accusations, Satan has hurled everything at me. But was the diamond shaken? Was the gold shaken? No!” he said.
Quiboloy claimed he refused to defend himself against the FBI’s accusations.
“Why? If you’re gold, even if you are thrown into the mud, if you’re a diamond and you are thrown into the mud and sink there, will you turn into mud yourself? No! You remain gold, you remain diamond. You don’t have to prove that you are gold, that you are diamond,” he said.
On January 31, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published a poster that showed Quiboloy was wanted 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.”
The FBI said Quiboloy uses the aliases “the appointed son of God,” “Sir,” “Pastor” and “ACQ.”
The FBI also released separate wanted posters for Kingdom of Jesus Christ top officials Teresita Dandan and Helen Panilag.
Federal authorities said Quiboloy, Dandan and Panilag are all in the Philippines and that those who might have any information about them may contact the local FBI office or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.
The wanted list was released after Quiboloy and the two others were indicted in November 2021 by a US federal grand jury in California for allegedly forcing girls and young women to have sex with him to save them from “eternal damnation.”
“It is alleged that females were recruited to work as personal assistants, or ‘pastorals,’ for Quiboloy and that the victims prepared his meals, cleaned his residences, gave him massages and were required to have sex with Quiboloy in what the pastorals called ‘night duty’,” according to the FBI wanted poster.
The FBI said Quiboloy is wanted for his “alleged participation in a labor trafficking scheme that brought church members to the United States via fraudulently obtained visas and forced the members to solicit donations for a bogus charity, donations that actually were used to finance church operations and the lavish lifestyles of its leaders.”
According to the FBI, members who were successful at soliciting funds were forced into “sham marriages” or secure fake student visas to continue their solicitation efforts.
But Quiboloy’s lawyer Ferdinand Topacio questioned the timing of the FBI’s release of the wanted poster, saying it was intended to indirectly discredit Duterte and undermine the vice presidential bid of his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, in the May elections.
“The timing of this poster’s release is very suspicious. The federal jury indictment was made on November 10, 2021. There was also a warrant issued on that day. Without going into the merit, the timing of the release of this poster is very suspect. Why did they wait until now when the elections are starting? It doesn’t make sense. The only logical reason here is that, they are using the closeness of Pastor Quiboloy to President Duterte to indirectly bring Duterte down,” Topacio said.
In November 2005, Quiboloy was sued by a former church member for allegedly brainwashing and holding her young daughter against her will.
Online news organization Rappler also interviewed former members of the church who explained how Quiboloy personally abused female members of the church, both sexually and verbally, under the guise of his supposed divinity.
But Topacio denied all these, saying these are former members who have absconded either with funds or broke the rules of the kingdom either with morality or ethics or other inappropriate behavior.
“They’re now being investigated, but they went into hiding and even went to other countries,” he said.
According to his followers, Quiboloy has no wife and children but he has what they call “spiritual wives.”
Duterte has not issued any statements on Quiboloy’s case but Secretary Menardo Guevarra of the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have not received any official extradition request for Quiboloy and his associates from American authorities.
The DOJ said it would process Quiboloy’s extradition if the US requests for it despite his close association with Duterte.
“If we receive the request, we will do our job within the bounds of the law and processes in our department, regardless of the personality involved,” said Atty. George Ortha II, DOJ’s chief state counsel.
Guevarra added that yielding any Filipino national to a foreign authority should not be done motu proprio, or automatically, but must be coursed through the proper diplomatic channels.
“The process is governed by the Philippine-US Extradition Treaty. The US State Department makes the extradition request. I’m sure the FBI knows where Quiboloy is. I’m also sure that the FBI knows the proper legal procedure to enable the US justice system to acquire jurisdiction over him,” he said.