Philippine celebrity preacher sought on sex charges

Philippine celebrity preacher sought on sex charges

Evangelical leader close to former president Duterte also indicted for human trafficking

Popular evangelical preacher Apollo Quiboloy (right) appears on a TV interview programme with then-Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the Sonshine Media Network International studios in Davao City on March 12, 2022. (Photo: Roemari Lismonero for the Presidential Communications Operations Office via Wikimedia Commons)
Popular evangelical preacher Apollo Quiboloy (right) appears on a TV interview programme with then-Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the Sonshine Media Network International studios in Davao City on March 12, 2022. (Photo: Roemari Lismonero for the Presidential Communications Operations Office via Wikimedia Commons)

MANILA - A Philippine court has ordered the arrest of a popular evangelical Christian preacher and longtime friend of former president Rodrigo Duterte, on charges of human trafficking and sexual abuse of a woman, court documents show.

Apollo Quiboloy, who also figures on the most wanted list of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is followed by millions of people in the Philippines, where church leaders are highly influential in elections. His religious organisation is officially known as Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name, Inc.

A family court in the southern city of Davao has ordered the arrest of Quiboloy, a self-proclaimed “owner of the universe” and “appointed son of god”, after he was indicted last month by the justice department on charges that are several years old.

A lawyer for Quiboloy did not respond to a request for comment. Duterte’s representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In the United States, Quiboloy faces separate charges of sex trafficking, based on accusations of coercing girls and young women to have sex with him, charges he has denied.

His indictment last month by the Philippine authorities was a reversal of a 2020 decision to dismiss the charges.

The victim’s “persistent legal battle has brought new light to the gravity of her accusations”, the Philippine justice department said.

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