By Antonio Colina IV
Davao City – Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, founding leader and Executive Pastor of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, was not detained at the airport in Honolulu, Hawaii after authorities reportedly found $350,000 in cash and parts of rifles in his private jet that was set to leave for the Philippines.
Speaking in a morning program of ABS-CBN Davao, Lawyer Israelito Torreon, his spokesperson, said the fact that he was allowed to return immediately to the Philippines via a commercial flight meant he did not violate any US law because a “detention implies that he committed a crime.”
Torreon is also dean of the college of law at the Jose Maria College, a school owned by Quiboloy, located along Diversion Road in Catitipan here, also where his congregation is located.
“Because if there was a crime committed, he would have been ordered to stay there because that’s allegedly in flagrante delicto that there was crime being committed and therefore he needed to be detained in the US but that’s not what happened. He is here in the Philippines, and therefore we should just relax, this matter being clarified, I hope this put to rest now,” he said.
Torreon said he communicated with Quiboloy for several times after the pastor and his companions landed in Manila from Hawaii at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Quiboloy, who claims to be the “appointed son of God,” would lead a long-scheduled prayer rally in Ynares Compound in Antipolo on Sunday, Torreon added.
The details of the calls were not discussed but Torreon said he was requested to inform the public, most especially members of his kingdom that Quiboloy “is okay and there is no need to panic,” as there was no case filed against him.
The lawyer did not elaborate what transpired in Hawaii, claiming his his knowledge of the incident was just limited.
“And I would be hypocrite if I will say anything about it because in the first place I was not there. What I will be saying will be hearsay evidence therefore I need not comment on it,” he added.
The Hawaii News Now reported on Thursday (Philippines) that Quiboloy was among six people, including only American passenger, Felina Salinas, 47, boarding his Cessna Citation Sovereign with $350,000 cash and parts to assemble military-style rifles.
However, the report said Salinas, a supporter of Quiboloy and business manager at the Waipahu church, was the only one arrested after she admitted that cash was hers.
It said she was charged with attempted bulk cash smuggling when she declared only $40,000, as the Federal law requires “anyone taking more than $10,000 out of the country to declare it.”
The report added the federal government is for working for the seizure of $15 million private plane that was left in Honolulu.
“As to the detail, whether or not the money was taken and gun parts were taken, these are handled by my American counterparts,” Torreon added.
Quiboloy is a close friend of President Rodrigo R. Duterte. He offered his private jets then presidential candidate during the presidential elections in 2016.