Banner Headline News

MARCOS CHIDES QUIBOLOY, SAYS NO ASSASSINATION PLOT; Pastor warned of arrest

By ALFRED GABOT and CLAIRE MORALES TRUE

 Editor in Chief and Managing Editor

 

VILLAMOR AIR BASE, Pasay City – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. chided controversial Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy as the Chief Executive denied his allegation of an assassination plot against him and urged the televangelist, who is on the Most Wanted List of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to attend the Congress hearings on his and his church alleged abuses as well as issues concerning his television station SMNI.

Quiboloy, the self-proclaimed “Appointed Son of God,” faces allegations of sexual abuses in the Philippines and franchise violations by his media network, Swara Sug Media Corporation, which operates Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI).

Quiboloy faces more serious cases in the US where he 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 Quiboloy’s arrest and he was immediately placed under the BFI’s Most Wanted List.

The California court reset Quiboloy’s trial to November 5, 2024. Originally, the proceedings were supposed to begin on March 19, 2024, 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.

Quiboloy’s associates, Teresita Dandan and Helen Panilag, both officials of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, were also indicted and remain on the wanted list of the FBI.

The Department of Justice (DOJ), meanwhile, disclosed  it has yet to receive any request from the US government for the extradition of Quiboloy who is wanted in the US on various charges..

“Yung sa case ni (As to the case of) Quiboloy, we have an extradition treaty with the United States, and all of this talk will really depend if there will be an extradition request from the US government. So far, there’s no extradition request,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said .

Remulla said the religious leader is also facing cases of rape and cyberlibel which are still pending before the DOJ.

“Walang may gustong mag-assassinate sa kanya (No one wants to assassinate him),” Marcos stressed in an interview at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City before flying to Australia for a state visit.

Marcos made the statement in response to Quiboloy’s claim that he and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos are conniving with the United States government to assassinate him.

“I would just advise him that just kung mayroon naman siyang sasabihin (if he wants to say anything), he has an opportunity in the hearings both in the House and in the Senate to say his side of the story,” the Presiden added.

Earlier, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said there was no verified report of alleged assassination plan against Quiboloy.

 The PNP also denied the claims of  Quiboloy that it was allegedly conniving with the United States government to eliminate him through rendition.

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

 

Marcos clarified further that the cases against Quiboloy in the United States were filed before he became president, adding that the KOJC leader may just be “very worried” to the point that he had come up with such an assassination claim.

He said Quiboloy should face the congressional inquiries to refute all the allegations hurled at him.

The situation would only get worse if Quiboloy continues to skip the hearings as he could be cited in contempt, Marcos also warned.

“That’s why my advice for him is to just face the questioning in the House and the Senate. Marinig natin ang kaniyang side para malaman natin kung ano ba talagang nangyayari dito (We could hear his side to know the truth),” Marcos said.

“We’re trying to be fair here and allowing him, an opportunity and fora to make his case. So, I think he should take advantage of that,” he added.

In an audio recording, Quiboloy, citing information from a reliable source, accused the US and Philippine governments of working together to eliminate him through rendition.

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; sex trafficking of children; and bulk cash smuggling.

A federal warrant was issued for his arrest on Nov. 10, 2021.

The Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality summoned Quiboloy to attend its hearing on the alleged abuses within the KOJC.

The House of Representatives also issued the same against him amid the chamber’s hearings on the alleged franchise violations of Swara Sug Media Corporation, which operates Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI).

Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros agreed with Marcos’ call for Quiboloy to comply with the subpoenas issued against him.

“Well, sa kabila nung pagbanat ni Quiboloy pati kay Presidente, siguro naman ang pananalita ng occupant ng pinakamataas na opisina sa ating gobyerno at bansa, siguro naman may kahit konting bigat (because of the tirades of Quiboloy even against the President, the words of the occupant of the highest office in our government and country should have a weight),” Hontiveros said in a press briefing Wednesday.

She reiterated that the Senate remains open and is looking forward to hearing Quiboloy’s side.

But Hontiveros warned Quiboloy’s camp that he would be cited in contempt and order for his arrest when they continue to ignore the subpoena issued against him.

She said they have not received any information yet from Quiboloy expressing his intent to attend the next Senate hearing.