Abalos seeks community support for Quiboloy’s ‘victims’

MANILA. Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr.
MANILA. Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr.Photo from DILG

INTERIOR and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. vowed on Thursday, July 11, 2024, the protection of the alleged victims involved in the cases of child and sexual abuse and human trafficking filed against fugitive Kingdom of Jesus Christ leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

In a statement, Abalos raised the critical importance of the support from the communities, especially parents, to ensure that the victims, mostly children, will achieve justice, noting that the accusations against Quiboloy are grave, encompassing various forms of abuse.

He appealed to parents, guardians, and community members to rally together in support of the victims and demand accountability from those accused.

“It is imperative that we, as parents, acknowledge the courage it takes for victims to come forward. By offering our support, we can help them navigate this challenging period and encourage others who might be suffering in silence to speak out,” he said.

"Turning a blind eye or justifying such actions only perpetuates a cycle of abuse. We must reject any attempts to minimize or dismiss these allegations. Our priority should be the well-being and safety of the victims and their families, particularly the most vulnerable among us—our children," he added.

Abalos likewise emphasized that justice is "not just the responsibility of the legal system but of society as a whole."

“Let us unite to ensure that every victim receives the justice they deserve. By doing so, we not only support those affected but also help build a safer, more just society for future generations,” he said.

"It is through collective action that we can effect meaningful change and protect our children from harm," he added.

Abalos urged Quiboloy to man up and face the allegations against him head-on in a court of law, saying hiding behind influence or legal maneuvers does nothing to clear his name.

“True vindication comes from transparency and accountability,” he told Quiboloy.

On Monday, Abalos said private individuals who refused to be identified raised P10 million as reward to anyone who can provide information that would lead to the arrest of Quiboloy, while P1 million each for his co-accused: Crisente, Paulene and Ingrid Canada, Sylvia Cemañes and Jackielyn Roy.

Quiboloy’s legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio said they are questioning the motive of the reward, particularly the identification of the donors.

Quiboloy and his co-accused have two standing arrest warrants, in which one was issued by the Davao Regional Trial Court for child and sexual assault while the other by the Pasig City Regional Trail Court for human trafficking.

His co-accused surrendered and settled the bail set by the Davao court worth P260,000 each for their temporary freedom.

The Pasig court recommended no bail.

The Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality chaired by Senator Risa Hontiveros that launched an investigation on the alleged crimes being committed within the religious organization, perpetrated by Quiboloy, also issued an arrest order against the sect leader for failing to participate in the inquiry.

Several former members of the KOJC testified during the committee hearing where they narrated the abuses they suffered at the hands of Quiboloy.

Several of them were women, who at an early age, said they were sexually abused by Quiboloy.

Authorities visited five properties in Davao City hoping to find Quiboloy but they failed. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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