‘Finally!’: Concerned Pinoys applaud move to probe Quiboloy-led group for reported crimes

December 13, 2023 - 2:00 PM
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Apollo Quiboloy
In this undated member, Apollo Quiboloy preaches to members of the Restorationist church he founded based in Davao City. (Quiboloy via Facebook)

The Senate resolution to investigate the Quiboloy-led religious group Kingdom of Jesus Christ garnered support from Filipinos on social media.

Senator Risa Hontiveros on December 11 filed Senate Resolution 884 to probe the religious group due to “reported cases of large-scale human trafficking, rape, sexual abuse and violence, and child abuse.” This was addressed to the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality.

In the resolution, the lawmaker listed the alleged horrible acts that the leader Apollo Quiboloy committed against the members, including a group of “pastorals.”

“Apollo Quiboloy, who styles himself as the Appointed Son of God and the leader of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ The Name Above Every Name (KOJC), allegedly demands strict obedience from his full-time followers through brainwashing, psychological manipulation and constant threats of eternal damnation,” it said.

“Quiboloy allegedly maintains a stable of women called ‘pastorals’ who occupy a prestigious position in the organization because they are tasked to perform special personal tasks and errands for him,” it also stated.

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In a separate post, Hontiveros uploaded a video showing a supposed former member of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) named Arlene Stone, who currently resides in Minnesota in the United States.

Stone introduced herself as a former “pastoral” or member of the group’s “inner circle.” She also claimed to be one of Quiboloy’s “spiritual wives.

Here, she narrated that she was recruited to the KOJC at 15 years old. Since then, she and her sister were sent or “trafficked” to different parts of Manila and Mindanao.

According to Stone, they were also asked to perform different tasks to receive more money when soliciting on the streets.

“Kaya po kami pinapapanggap na bilang estudyante at mga pipi at bingi para kami po ay makakuha ng mga simpatia sa mga tao at Malaki po ang aming remittance,” she said.

Moreover, Stone also recalled that they were pretend to be members of “associations” to earn more funds. Some of the names of these “associations” are:

  • Children’s Joy Foundation
  • Pag-asa ng Buhay
  • Pagdamay sa Dukha Association
  • Shivers
  • Sons of David

This video interview has since been viewed 16,000 times and garnered 1,100 reactions so far.

How social media reacted

Several Filipinos cheered the move to launch a formal investigation against Quiboloy and his organization.

“Yes! Long overdue too!” an X user said.

“Dapat ng pumunta ang FBI dito sa Pilipinas at arestuhin si Quiboloy,” another X user said.

“This is long overdue but finally!” another Filipino on the X app reacted.

“It is time!” another X user commented.

Other Filipinos perceived the filing to be “great timing,” citing recent pressure the national government is putting on the previous administration.

“Sen. Risa’s timing is perfect given the political climate. Finally,” historian Kristoffer Pasion wrote.

“Galing ng timing niya. Sana may patunguhan gaya nung cult leader,” another X user commented.

This development came after the Davao-based Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), a network associated with Quiboloy’s KJC, was placed under scrutiny by the House Committee on Legislative Franchises over the alleged spread of fake news on its platform.

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Quiboloy, himself, is also a “Most Wanted” person by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation for allegedly being involved in “a labor and sex trafficking scheme.”

The controversial evangelist was known to have close ties with former President Rodrigo Duterte during his presidency and Davao City mayoralty.

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