Duterte’s closeness with pastor won’t influence cases
Malacañang on Monday said it will not intrude on cases filed against Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, assuring that President Rodrigo Duterte’s closeness with the pastor will not affect the case.
The church of Quiboloy, who claims that he is the son of God, is based in Davao City, Duterte’s home city. Quiboloy is reported to have contributed a large sum to the 2016 presidential campaign of Duterte, his longtime friend.
On Friday, former follower and complainant Blenda Portugal accused Quiboloy of rape, qualified trafficking in person, and child abuse.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo refused to comment, saying that he had no knowledge on the charges filed against the 69-year-old pastor.
“First, I do not know about it. Second, that should be a private matter involving the Pastor. We will not intrude into that private domain,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Panelo also that despite the friendship between the President and the pastor, rule of law will prevail.
“The rule of law in this country always prevail regardless of who are involved,” Panelo said.
Duterte’s closeness with Quiboloy is well known, even having granted interviews to the pastor on his TV show “Give Us This Day.”
Quiboloy’s legal counsel, lawyer Israelito Torreon, claimed the charges filed against his client were part of a “grand conspiracy” to pin him down.
Torreon said the complainant has been threatening to file cases against the religious leader following years of allegedly spreading malicious comments on her Facebook Page.
He said part of their theory is that she planned to file charges a long time ago.
Quiboloy’s lawyer further said Portugal seemed to be “well supported and well-financed.”
He said he was ready to prove that his client is innocent.
In her affidavit, Portugal claimed that she was raped on Sept. 1, 2014 inside the Jose Maria College Compound at around 1 or 2 a.m.
She was 17 years old at that time and one of the scholars and singers of Quiboloy’s church.
In October last year, Quiboloy was also accused by a former follower for running a “child sex ring.” (PNA)