Arrest warrant for Quiboloy, self-styled 'preacher' and a friend of Duterte

Famous for a sect he found with millions of followers, the preacher claims that he was "spiritual advisor" to the former president. Charges against him were dismissed in 2020, but thanks to the courage of some of his victims, the case was reopened. He stands accused of human trafficking and sexual abuse, among others.


Manila (AsiaNews) – A Philippine court has issued an arrest warrant for controversial preacher Apollo Quiboloy.

A longtime personal friend of former President Rodrigo Duterte, Quiboloy is famous for setting up a Church with millions of members in a country where leaders of sects and religious groups wield great influence in elections.

The evangelical preacher, blacklisted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is accused of human trafficking and sexual abuse of a woman.

A court in the southern city of Davao issued the warrant for the arrest of the self-styled "appointed son of God" and “owner of the universe,” following the indictment in March by the Justice Ministry on charges that have been pending for years.

This represents a turning point, and a change of course, compared to the substantial impunity he enjoyed hitherto; above all, thanks to his connections with the former president that led a court to dismiss charges against him in 2020.

In a note, the ministry underlines the commitment and courage of the victim who filed a complaint against him, sustaining a " persistent legal battle has brought new light to the gravity of her accusations”.

In addition, Quiboloy faces another court case for sexual abuse in the United States, where, according to the plaintiff, he forced several girls and young women to have sex with him, accusations the self-styled preacher has denied.

According to the US Department of Justice, investigations revealed that the money raised for a fake California-based charity was used to recruit victims in the Philippines.

The latter would be brought to the United States to work in exploitative conditions, in a "Church" called Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC).

Some “Church” members were involved in raising additional money to support Quiboloy's lavish lifestyle. The sex trafficking and human trafficking scheme lasted at least 16 years, until 2018.

Those who complied were rewarded, according to the indictment, with “good food, luxurious hotel rooms, trips to tourist spots and yearly cash payments that were based on performance,” paid with money solicited by KOJC workers in the United States.

The sect founded by Quiboloy claims to have attracted about six million members in 200 countries since its inception in 1985, according to its website.

Many pictures of former President Duterte were posted on the Church’s official website and social pages, identifying Quiboloy as the president’s “spiritual advisor”.

In a two-part investigative series, Philippine online news website Rappler says it has uncovered four large properties in Canada and the United States currently linked to Quiboloy and KOJC, with an estimated total value of US$ 9.07 million.

Another property, this one in Hawaii, worth US$ 1.76 million, is said to have been at the centre of an apparent fictitious sale in 2018.