Malacañang sidesteps questions on Quiboloy's ties with Duterte

Published November 19, 2021, 4:22 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Malacañang was evasive Friday, Nov. 18, in answering questions regarding the status of the relationship between President Duterte and Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

President Rodrigo Duterte (left) and Pastor Apollo Quiboloy (Photos from Malacañang, MANILA BULLETIN)

This developed after international news sites broke news that the 71-year-old Quiboloy–who is the friend and supposed spiritual adviser of Duterte–had been charged with sex trafficking of females, including minors.

“Pastor Apollo Quiboloy is a private individual and I’m sure he’s capable of getting the proper legal advice,” Cabinet Secretary and Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said in a virtual press conference after the topic of the United States (US) Justice Department’s indictment of Quiboloy was raised by reporters.

Quiboloy, who is five years younger than Duterte, leads the church called the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC). He carries the titles of “Owner of the Universe” and “Appointed Son of God”.

Asked if he thought the indictment puts into question the integrity of Quiboloy as the President’s spiritual adviser, Nograles said, “Pagdating po sa mga personal relationships ni Pangulo, hayaan na lang po natin na magsalita si Pangulo tungkol po dyan (When it comes to the personal relationships of the President, let’s just wait for him to talk about it).”

Nograles was just as evasive–and understandably so–when quizzed if the KOJC leader would remain as Duterte’s spiritual adviser.

“Again, we’ll wait for the President’s statement regarding that. Kasi bago palang itong development na ito. Hayaan na lang po natin na magsalita si Pangulo tungkol po dyan (This development is quite new. Let’s just wait for him to talk about it),” he said.

At any rate, the Cabinet Secretary stressed that the Philippines is consistent in its efforts against trafficking in general, and especially sex trafficking.

“The DOJ (Department of Justice) and the whole task force against trafficking, naka-full force po yan. Ginagawa nila ang dapat at nararapat (they are in full force. They do what they are supposed to do),” he said.

“In fact we have been receiving accolades also from the international community tungkol po sa mga efforts natin against trafficking (in connection with our efforts against trafficking),” Nograles noted.