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Guevarra: No US request yet for Quiboloy’s extradition

November 19, 2021 Hector Lawas 218 views

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday said that the United States government has not requested yet the extradition of Apollo Carreon Quiboloy, founder of a church called Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC) and a friend, personal adviser to President Duterte.

Quiboloy and US-based KOJC officers Teresita Tolibas Dandan and Helen Panilag have been indicted before the United States District Court in Los Angeles and Honolulu for sex trafficking charges.

The information showed that girls as young as 12 have been allegedly coerced to have sex with Quiboloy under threat of bodily harm and “eternal damnation.”

“As of this date, the DOJ (Department of Justice) has not received any request for extradition from the US DOJ nor from the US State Department thru the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs),” Guevarra said in a message.

Likewise, Guevarra confirmed that no same charges involving the same circumstances have been filed against Quiboloy in the country.

He, however, divulged that a complaint for rape against Quiboloy was being reviewed by the DOJ.

“No sex trafficking charges have been filed or are pending in the Philippines against pastor Apollo Quiboloy involving the same factual circumstances as those in the recent US indictment. A complaint for rape, however, was filed against him last year in Davao City, but the same was dismissed. That dismissal is now on appeal with the DOJ,” Guevarra said.

The sex trafficking charges were an added lawsuit as defendants no lower than nine have been charged in 2020 for their alleged intricacy in which church members were brought to the US with fraudulently-obtained visas, and forced to solicit donations for a non-existent children’s charity.

The charge claimed that the donations were used to pay for “lavish lifestyles” of the church leaders.

In the latest indictment, Quiboloy, Dandan and Salinas have been accused of participating in a conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by fraud and coercion.

They allegedly recruited women aged 12 to 25 to work as “pastorals” (personal assistants) for Quiboloy. Three of the five victims were minors when the alleged sex trafficking began.

The charge sheet also disclosed that the victims prepared Quiboloy’s meals, cleaned his residences, gave him massages, and were required to have sex with him as part of “night duty.”

The victims were allegedly ordered to have sex with Quiboloy on a schedule determined by the church leader and others, including Dandan.

The US DOJ released the superseding indictment against Quiboloy, Dandan and Salinas last November 18.

Last November 10, the superseding indictment was returned by a federal grand jury to expand the scope of the 2020 indictment by adding six new defendants including Quiboloy, who was referred to as “The Appointed Son of God,” the US Attorney’s Office, Central District of California said.

According to the US DOJ, three of the five female victims were minors when the alleged sex trafficking began.

Three of the new defendants were arrested last November 18 by federal authorities and are expected to make their initial appearance at the US District Court in Los Angeles and Honolulu.

The remaining three, including Quiboloy, are believed to be in the Philippines, the US DOJ said.

According to the US DOJ, every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has an ongoing investigation into KOJC and encouraged potential victims or anyone with information about the group’s activities to call FBI Los Angeles Field Office. By HECTOR LAWAS & CRISTINA LEE-PISCO

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