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CONGRESS SUBPOENAS PASTOR QUIBOLOY IN ABUSES PROBE ; Church sect leader faces arrest if he won’t show up, blames US for ordeal

By ALFRED GABOT and CLAIRE MORALES TRUE

Editor in Chief and Managing Editor

MANILA/DAVAO CITY/LOS ANGELES – Controversial Pastor Apollo Quiboloy of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC), who is on Most Wanted List of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has been subpoenaed by the Senate and the House of Representatives to appear before them to answer allegations of abuses against him and his church in the Philippines and in the United States.

Warned that he could face arrest if he fails to appear in the Congressional hearings, the embattled church leader based in Davao City appeared to have gone into hiding as he blamed the United States, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos, Speaker Martin Romualdez for allegedly colluding to “eliminate” him.

In a 35-minute audio message made public by the pastor’s camp, Quiboloy claimed that he is being persecuted due to his closeness to former President Rodrigo Duterte which he served as spiritual adviser and alleged that $2 million or P100 million has been offered to “eliminate” him.

“It’s not only rendition but also elimination. If it’s possible, puwede nila akong i-assassinate,” Quiboloy said in the audio message.

Quiboloy, who is originally from Lubao, Pampanga, challenged Marcos, the First Lady and Romualdez to resign if it is true that they collaborated with the US, particularly the FBI and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to “eliminate” him.

In his audio message, Quiboloy made several other accusations, including the US offering $2 million or P100 million bounty for his arrest and a supposed plan to plant evidence against him.

Quiboloy said he learned from “reliable sources” that US government bodies like the FBI and the CIA are eyeing to conduct “rendition” on him instead of extradition.

“Ayaw na raw po nila ng extradition treaty. Ang kanila pong gagawin ng CIA, FBI, ng US Embassy, at State Department, kasabwat ng ating gobyerno ng Pangulong Marcos at ng First Lady at kung sino pa man ang nasa gobyerno, ako ay rendition ang kanilang gagawin (They allegedly no longer want extradition. What the CIA, FBI, the US Embassy and US State Department, with the help of President Marcos and the First Lady and other officials, plan to do is rendition),” he said.

The FBI, meanwhile, through Public Affairs Specialist Laura Eimiller, said the agency is not aware of any bounty for Quiboloy’s arrest but confirmed that he has an outstanding arrest warrant in the US.

“There is an active arrest warrant for Mr. Quiboloy but I’m unaware of a reward offer,” Eimiller said.

 The United States Embassy in Manila, meanwhile, noting Quiboloy’s indictment before a US court for “serious human rights abuses” for years, including rape of young girls, expressed confidence that  Quiboloy will “face justice” amid the various charges hurled against him before a US court.

US Embassy spokesperson Kanishka Gangopadhyay did not further comment on the charges against Quiboloy,  noting that information about legal proceedings would have to come from the US Department of Justice.

 “For more than a decade, Apollo Quiboloy engaged in serious human rights abuses, including a pattern of systemic and pervasive rape of girls as young as 11 years old, and he is currently on the FBI’s (Federal Bureau of Investigation) Most Wanted List,” Gangopadhyay said.

“We are confident that Quiboloy will face justice for his heinous crimes,” he added.

Quiboloy has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana, 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; and bulk cash smuggling.

On Nov. 10, 2021, a federal warrant was issued for his arrest.

A United States court in California has a new date for the trial for the criminal cases against Quiboloy to November 5, 2024..

Quiboloy, who was first held at the Honolulu International Airport for attempt to smuggle out of the United States, several thousands of dollars purportedly collected from donations to his church, accused the US of plotting to conduct “rendition” on him.

Rendition is defined as the surrender by a state of a fugitive to another country charging him/her with a crime.

The California court proceedings against Quiboloy and some followers are for charges of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, coercion, and sex trafficking of children, marriage fraud, fraud and misuse of visas, bulk cash smuggling, promotional money laundering, and international promotional money laundering.

The Senat and the House of Representatives  have issued subpoena against Quiboloy after he skipped the separate congressional hearings on the alleged abuses being linked to his religious group as well as controversies surrounding calls to revoke the franchise of Swara Sug Media Corporation, which runs and operates Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI).