JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra said on Sunday that Pastor Apollo Carreon Quiboloy could still be extradited to the United States (US) despite the pendency of the appeal filed before his office in connection with the dismissal of criminal charges in a local case.
That case is for rape, child abuse, ill treatment, trafficking in persons through forced labor, and trafficking in persons through sexual abuse filed against him before the Davao City Prosecutor’s Office by a female complainant.
However, Guevarra indicated that the implementation of the RP-US Extradition Treaty on a person is a long process and would involve court litigation.
“The pendency of the appeal before the OSEC [Office of the Secretary] is not an obstacle to extradition because there is no indictment in a Philippine court as yet,” Guevarra said.
In the event that Quiboloy’s extradition is sought, the DOJ and the Department of Foreign Affairs would have to evaluate first and determine if the US case is covered by the existing extradition treaty, Guevarra said.
If it is established that the US case is covered by the treaty, the DOJ will file a petition for extradition before a local court.
“If granted, and the judgment became final, the respondent may then be physically turned over to the requesting state for further legal proceedings,” Guevarra added.
The US DOJ announced in its official web site last November 18 that Quiboloy—leader of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC) and spiritual adviser of President Duterte—has been indicted by a federal grand jury with sex trafficking along with two co-defendants identified as Teresita Tolibas Dandan and Felina Salinas.
Guevarra told reporters that there is no pending criminal case against Quiboloy in Philippine courts for sex trafficking or similar offenses.
However, he disclosed that a female complainant in Davao City filed in 2020 a complaint against Quiboloy for rape, child abuse, ill treatment under the Revised Penal Code (RPC), trafficking in persons through forced labor, and trafficking in persons through sexual abuse.
This was dismissed by the Davao City Prosecutor’s Office, but the complainant has appealed the dismissal before his office and it is still pending.
Guevarra stressed that Quiboloy will not be accorded special treatment should an extradition case be filed against him.
“The DOJ, through the IACAT [Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking], will perform its mandate under the law regardless of the persons involved,” Guevarra said.
He pointed out that “treaty obligations are as legally binding on us as our own laws.”
Quiboloy ‘ready to face raps’
The legal counsel of Quiboloy said he was ready to face the charges against him, and described the indictment as the moves made by “dissidents,” or former members of his sect.
“While jealousy and evil will never stop, we strongly believe that good always triumphs over evil. The people who accused him today in California, are the same dissidents who miserably failed in their attempt to bring Pastor Quiboloy into the case in Hawaii,” said a statement from Quiboloy’s lawyer late Friday.
“Our heart goes to Pastor Quiboloy and to all the Kingdom leaders who were maliciously accused in this present controversy,” it said.
It said “we are confident and ready to face whatever is hurled against Pastor Quiboloy and the Kingdom leaders. We trust the process of justice and we certainly expect the truth to prevail, and the Kingdom ministry will continue to prosper.”
It described the indictment as “once again, another vicious attempt to bring down Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy and some of the Kingdom leaders” and said this was organized “just recently” in the United States.
“But The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name and all its followers remain steadfast and committed to faithfully respond to its mission, its ministry and its divine calling despite all the detraction efforts made against them,” it added.