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Quiboloy in hiding, claims plot to kill him; Hontiveros says 'Huwag pong pa-victim'

By NICK GARCIA Published Feb 21, 2024 2:53 pm Updated Feb 21, 2024 4:22 pm

Controversial church leader Apollo Quiboloy broke his weeks-long silence, saying he’s in hiding and claiming that there are threats to end his life—amid lawmakers’ investigation into the alleged abuses within his religious organization.

In a 36-minute voice message uploaded on YouTube on Feb. 21, Quiboloy said he originally wanted to hold a press conference. “Pero dahil nanganganib ang buhay ko, ay hindi niyo po muna makikita ang aking pagmumukha,” he said. “Ang aking boses lang muna ang inyong maririnig.”

The Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader maintained that the cases filed against him are trumped up, noting his team of lawyers in the Philippines and abroad are awaiting trial.

He made several unsubstantiated claims, like how he has no freedom in his own country due to relentless surveillance.

He also claimed President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Marcos are in cahoots with the United States government, supposedly plotting to enter his compound anytime to kidnap him—and assassinate him. He also said he has a bounty on his head worth P100 million.

Quiboloy also dismissed the witnesses in the Senate hearings as “false accusers,” claiming the hearings are being done to “destroy [his] reputation” to drag the family of former president Rodrigo Duterte, whom he has close ties with as they’re townmates in Davao City. The International Criminal Court has entered the country to investigate the killings during the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

'Women fighting over me'

Quiboloy downplayed the testimonies of women who accused him of raping them, saying the women were "fighting over" him because he's "single and rich."

"Mahirap man sabihin, pero pinag-aagawan nila ako," Quiboloy said, claiming they want a share of his money. "Napahiya, ngayon binayaran (sila) at binabaliktad ang lahat ng istorya."

He also claimed to be celibate and had never tried any kind of vice. 

Quiboloy then called out Sen. Risa Hontiveros, who chairs the investigation into the alleged abuses in KOJC, challenging her and three other “leftist senators” to file a case before the courts.

During the first Senate hearing, KOJC members came forward with horror stories of abuse, including minors being forced to give sexual services to Quiboloy. They were also allegedly coerced to beg for money from strangers.

Quiboloy didn’t attend the first hearing last Jan. 23, calling it “bogus” and claiming it “turned a monster out of me.”

In the second Senate hearing on Feb. 19, when it also subpoenaed Quiboloy, more KOJC members testified against him, including how his Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) allegedly didn’t pay workers as they’re supposedly serving God.

SMNI is under indefinite suspension on radio and television amid violations of the terms of its franchise. It, however, may still operate on social media.

'Huwag pong pa-victim'

Hours after Quiboloy’s voice message was uploaded, Hontiveros, in a video posted on her Facebook page, told him to stop playing the victim.

“Huwag pong pa-victim. Ang hinihingi lang sa inyo ay humarap sa mga legal na proseso,” she said. “Huwag niyo pong dalhin sa lengguwahe ng patayan kahit ‘yan ang nakasanayan niyo.”

She noted that the next Senate hearing is on March 5 and urged Quiboloy to attend.

“If Mr. Quiboloy doesn’t show up, I will cite him in contempt and have him arrested,” Hontiveros said.

Quiboloy, who calls himself the “Appointed Son of God,” has been on the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most-wanted list since February 2022. He, however, is still actively preaching in and outside the Philippines.

A federal grand jury in the US District Court in California indicted Quiboloy for alleged crimes of “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.” He was issued a federal warrant of arrest on Nov. 10, 2021.