Quiboloy skips Senate probe into religious group’s alleged human trafficking, sexual abuses

Pastor Apollo Quiboloy on Tuesday skipped the Senate investigation into the alleged cases of large-scale human trafficking, rape, sexual abuse and violence, and child abuse of his religious group, Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC).

According to the guest list shared by the Office of Senator Risa Hontiveros, who is leading the investigation, Quiboloy was invited by the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality to attend the hearing.

Quiboloy’s lawyer, Melanio Balayan, represented him during the investigation. 

In December, Hontiveros filed proposed Senate Resolution 884 which seeks to investigate the cases against KOJC in aid of legislation to “allow us to determine whether our updated human trafficking laws are able to cover large-scale and systemic acts of trafficking done under the cover of a religious organization.”

“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,” Hontiveros said in her resolution.

“Considering that the crimes were committed within the territorial jurisdiction of the Philippines and considering that crimes are taking place even at present as Quiboloy remains free to run operations of KOJC, it is imperative that an investigation be undertaken with dispatch,” it further read.

In a privilege speech last year, Hontiveros revealed accounts of victims who were allegedly exploited or sexually abused by Quiboloy.

Responding to the resolution, Quiboloy’s legal counsel dared Hontiveros to bring the allegations to the proper courts and dismissed the Senate probe as a mere “deception.”

This is not the first time that the religious leader was faced with allegations of sexual abuse.

In 2021, Quiboloy was indicted in the United States for charges related to alleged sex-trafficking operation. —KBK, GMA Integrated News 

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