Pastor Apollo Quiboloy’s name resurfaced anew after videos of him claiming he was responsible for stopping the 6.6-magnitude tremor despite evident geological reasons made rounds online.
Quiboloy, who declared himself as the “Appointed Son of God,” is the controversial leader of Davao-based religious group Kingdom of Jesus Christ Name above Every Name or KJC.
He made this big assertion during an episode of his program “Give Us This Day” on October 30, video clips of which were shared on social media.
Quiboloy: LINDOL STOP!Sa isang tv program sinabi ni Quiboloy na pinahinto niya ang magnitude 6.6 earthquake na yumanig sa Mindanao.
Posted by Multi Trend Productions on Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Quiboloy recalled he was in his room in Samal Island in Davao del Norte when the first of the calamities happened.
“Ako’y umiinom lang ng kape eh, lumilindol. Sinabi ko, ‘lindol huminto ka!’ Huminto,” Quiboloy said.
“Pasalamat kayo sa ‘kin, pasalamat kayo sa ‘kin. Kasi kung ‘di ko pina-stop ‘yun, marami kayong magigiba diyan. Mamamatay kayo. Kaya pasalamat kayo ako ang nagpa-stop ng lindol,” he added.
Quiboloy further directed the fault against his critics or “bashers” on the cause of the earthquakes.
“Tingnan mo yung mga lugar ng bashing, kawawa naman. Naawa ako sa kanila, ‘di ba? Hindi ko naman, ayoko namang mapahamak ang tao. Pero ang judgment nanggagaling sa Diyos,” he said.
Despite the ludicrous claims, Quiboloy’s videos still gathered many supporters on Facebook.
Some Filipinos, however, criticized him and his supporters with the use of memes online.
The anti-earthquake czar has spoken… pic.twitter.com/uoOrooeWx4
— Malacañang Events and Catering Services (@MalacananEvents) November 3, 2019
One Twitter user noted that his supposed “power” could not stop him from his legal charges back then.
So Quiboloy ordered the Earth to stop shaking but failed to stop his arrest in Hawaii. 🥴
— Thérèse (@Marie_TheReese) November 1, 2019
Quiboloy, who has close ties with President Rodrigo Duterte, has a record of illegal smuggling and sexual harassment charges, as well as possible human trafficking, child custody and land-grabbing issues.
The names of Quiboloy and the KJC group got talked about online around the same month in 2018 because of a photo of him bearing the title “the New Owner of the World”, which circulated that time.
Some residents who were still traumatized because of the calamities also earlier mistaken a Caucasian man wearing a white robe as Jesus Christ after he was seen walking around Davao City.
The geological causes of earthquakes are much easier to believe than supernatural beliefs.
Accord to the United States Geological Survey, the main cause of an earthquake is a sudden stress or slip on a fault. A fault is a fracture on Earth’s crust.
The USGS explained:
“The tectonic plates are always slowly moving, but they get stuck at their edges due to friction. When the stress on the edge overcomes the friction, there is an earthquake that releases energy in waves that travel through the earth’s crust and cause the shaking that we feel.”
In the case of Mindanao, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) theorized that the strong earthquakes may be caused by several closely placed faults.
“In that area, you have several closely placed faults, near to each other. It’s possible that one fault would trigger another fault to move. We call that stress transfer,” said Dr. Toto Bacolcol, associate scientist at Phivolcs to ABS-CBN News.
For years, the state-run agency has been reminding Metro Manila residents to prepare for the “Big One,” a nearly 7.2-magnitude earthquake due to the big West Valley Fault.
However, Phivolcs also warned the people against false rumors on an impending earthquake or tsunami.
“We cannot predict when or where an earthquake or tsunami will happen. What we do is prepare earthquake scenarios of hazards and impacts to be used as a guide for mitigation, preparedness, and response,” the agency said on Twitter.
We cannot predict when or where an earthquake or tsunami will happen.
What we do is prepare earthquake scenarios of hazards and impacts to be used as a guide for mitigation, preparedness, and response.#NoToFakeNews #BasahinAtIntindihin pic.twitter.com/BJV1CoOL6I
— PHIVOLCS-DOST (@phivolcs_dost) November 3, 2019
Mindanao residents faced three consecutive earthquakes in two weeks of October. The first one was a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that struck on October 16, and then two tremors the next week, the 6.5-magnitude on October 29 and 6.6-magnitude ones on October 31.
The epicenter of the last two incidents were reportedly found in the province of North Cotabato.
As of publication, Mindanao continued to face risky aftershocks every now and then.