June 13, 2024

Bicol Express News

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Apollo Quiboloy slap by US sanctions over ‘serious human rights abuse’

Pastor Apollo Quiboloy. Photo Aaron Favila

Self-proclaimed “Son of God” and leader of the religious group The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name reportedly have been slapped by the United States Department of Treasury over what it called “serious human rights abuse” in connection with allegations that he raped and physically abused members of his religious group

The sanction against Quiboloy comes at the heels of the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day and Anti-Corruption Day. The US Treasury Department which designated the controversial religious leader pursuant to Executive Order No. 13818 which freezes US-based assets of people “responsible for or complicit in, or to have directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse” among other reasons.

The said executive order also blocks the entry of those designated into the US and prohibits donations for their benefit.

“For more than a decade, Apollo Carreon Quiboloy engaged in serious human rights abuse, including a pattern of systemic and pervasive rape of girls as young as 11 years old, as well as other physical abuse,” the US Treasury said Friday in a statement.

The US Treasury also said that Quiboloy “exploited his role” in his religious group; The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name; to subject his members to rape and other physical abuse and described these as “sacrifices required by the Bible and by God” for their salvation.

Apparently, these are the same allegations contained in a federal indictment against Quiboloy and his two other officials of his religious group for 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.

Ferdinand Topacio, Quiboloy’s lawyer, questioned the timing of the release of the information on the indictment and suggested that this was to influence the 2022 elections.

With Quiboloy’s indictment, he’s been on the wanted list of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) but the Philippines has yet to extradite him as a request from Washington is supposedly yet to come in.

Even if the Philippines granted the request to extradite Quiboloy to the US to face these serious charges, a local Department of Justice official said this process may take years.

It’s no secret that Apollo Quiboloy is known to be a close friend and spiritual adviser of former President Rodrigo Duterte. During the 2022 national election campaign, the self-proclaimed “Son of God” endorsed the tandem of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as president and Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte as Vice-President respectively.