Quiboloy set to answer trafficking and child abuse charges from DOJ

DOJ Recommends Charges of Child Abuse and Human Trafficking Against Apollo Quiboloy

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Monday that it has recommended the filing of charges of child abuse and human trafficking against doomsday preacher Apollo Quiboloy. This decision came after the Justice department granted the petition for review on Quiboloy’s case, which had been previously dismissed by the Office of the City Prosecutor of Davao City in 2020. DOJ chief Jesus Crispin Remulla stated that the dismissal was reversed, leading to the recommendation of charges against Quiboloy and his associates.

In granting the petition for review, the DOJ ordered the Office of the City Prosecutor of Davao City to file the case for violation of Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law, which includes a provision on sexual abuse of a minor. Additionally, the DOJ mentioned that the case of qualified human trafficking will be filed in a Pasig City court.

If found guilty of qualified human trafficking, which is a non-bailable offense, Quiboloy may face life imprisonment and a fine ranging from P2 million to P5 million pesos. A preliminary hold departure order has been signed against Quiboloy, along with a lookout bulletin order to prevent him from leaving the country.

Quiboloy, who is a close ally of former President Rodrigo Duterte, has been embroiled in several charges including sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, and bulk cash smuggling. A federal grand jury in California indicted him in November 2021 for obtaining fraudulent visas for members of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) to enter the United States.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation placed Quiboloy on their most wanted list in February 2022 for his alleged participation in a labor trafficking scheme. Both the Senate and House of Representatives have issued subpoenas for Quiboloy after he failed to appear in separate hearings related to the alleged abuses linked to KOJC.

In response to the accusations, Quiboloy claimed that President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos were colluding with the United States to plot his assassination. Marcos denied these claims and urged Quiboloy to cooperate with the investigations.

Apart from the criminal charges, Sonshine Media Network International, Quiboloy’s network, received a cease-and-desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission for failing to comply with a suspension order. Supporters of Quiboloy gathered at Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila on Monday to rally support for the preacher.

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