Lawyer: Case aims to destroy Rody, undermine BBM, Sara
The camp of Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) founder and pastor Apollo Quiboloy yesterday said his accusers are hitting him to indirectly destroy President Rodrigo Duterte after US Federal Bureau of Investigation released a “most wanted” poster against the church leader over sex trafficking and bulk cash smuggling charges.
His lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, said the timing of the release of the FBI poster was “very suspect” as it came almost three months after the federal grand jury indictment was made on November 10, 2021.
“Supposedly, according to a post on the FBI website, there was a warrant also issued on that day [in November]. Common sense dictates that if you have a warrant, you immediately put up a wanted poster.
Why wait until now to release the poster when the campaign for the national elections is about to start?” Topacio said in an online press conference.
Aside from Quiboloy, the FBI also issued “most wanted” posters against two other church members, Teresita Tolibas Dandan and Helen Panilag.
Topacio said he is not fomenting conspiracy theories, “but we all have to be in a state of abject denial to say that the United States has not been interfering with our elections since as far as we can remember.”
“The only logical reason here is that they are using the closeness of Pastor Quiboloy with President Duterte to indirectly destroy Duterte…Indirectly, it is [also] undermining the candidacy of Sara Duterte. Indirectly, it may be undermining the candidacy of Bongbong Marcos, or whichever candidate the United States does not want to win in this country,” he added.
Quiboloy, a spiritual adviser of Duterte, 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,” the FBI said.
For its part, the Department of Justice said it will handle any extradition petition, once the US makes a request, against Quiboloy according to law, chief state counsel George Ortha II said.
“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,” Ortha said.
“We will just follow what is stated in our law,” he added.
Gabriela party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas on Sunday urged the DOJ to issue a hold-departure order against Quibology.
“It is a big challenge for the Duterte regime as well as the Bongbong-Sara tandem for them not to coddle Quiboloy, especially as he was recently endorsing the administration’s tandem. They are complicit in coddling the wanted sex trafficker and in causing further injury to those victims who have come forward to expose Quiboloy crimes,” she said.
“We again ask the DOJ to do whatever is necessary to facilitate the attainment of justice to all the victims of Pastor Quiboloy,” she said.
In an online sermon late Saturday evening, Quiboloy likened himself to a “modern-day Joseph” who has to face tribulations “before all that my Father promised to me is fulfilled.”
“If a person is in the hands of God, do not underestimate because miracles and miracles will take place. I do not like that to happen to those who are running after me. Will Pastor Quiboloy be known without these tribulations” he said.