Following the indictment of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, head of the Philippine-based Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC), for sex trafficking charges, Malacañang assured the US on Friday that the Philippines will cooperate with the US.
In an online news conference, Acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles assured the public that the Philippine government has been “extremely consistent” in its efforts to address sex trafficking.
“While I can say that these are all speculative, the Philippines always cooperates when it comes to extradition or processes of extradition. So, we will cooperate if there would be such a request.” Nograles said in a mix of Filipino statements when asked if the Philippine government would cooperate with the US, in case it requests for Quiboloy’s extradition.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged Quiboloy with coercing girls and young women to have sex with him by threatening them with “eternal damnation.”
The latest indictment, unsealed on Thursday, charged Quiboloy and two other top church officials – Teresita Dandan and Felina Salina – with conspiring to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion, as well as child sex trafficking.
The defendants reportedly recruited females aged 12 to 25 to serve as Quiboloy’s personal aides or “pastoral.”
“The victims prepared Quiboloy’s meals, cleaned his residences, gave him massages, and were allegedly required to have sex with him in what the pastorals called the night duty,” the US DOJ said.
Three of five female victims were minors when the alleged sex trafficking began.
“Defendant Quiboloy and other KOJC administrators coerced pastorals into performing ‘night duty – that is, sex – with defendant Quiboloy under the threat of physical and verbal abuse and eternal damnation by defendant Quiboloy and other KOJC administrators,” the indictment alleged.
Quiboloy is a friend and spiritual adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte.
It is up to Duterte if he will keep Quiboloy as his spiritual adviser, Nograles said.
“Again, we’ll wait for the President’s statement regarding that because this is just a new development. Let the President make a statement on that issue,” he said.
Nograles added that Quiboloy, as a private individual, is “capable of getting the proper legal advice”.
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