The Davao City Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed complaints of rape, child abuse, and human trafficking filed by a former member of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ against its founder, pro-Duterte Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, and five other church members.
In a joint resolution dated June 29 but was released to media only yesterday, the prosecutors junked all three cases filed in December 2019 against Quiboloy, Cresente Canada, Jackielyn Roy, Paulene Canada, Ingrid Canada, and Sylvia Cemañes.
The criminal complaints were filed by a woman who alleged that she was raped by Quiboloy in 2014 when she was 17 years old. She also alleged that church members physically abused her and forced her to solicit money and sell food to raise funds for the congregation. She, along with her sister, joined the church in 2012.
City prosecutors dismissed her complaints citing “inconsistencies” as well as “insufficiency of evidence and lack of probable cause.”
The prosecutors said the woman did not say that Quiboloy forced, threatened or intimidated her when he allegedly had non-consensual intercourse with her when she was a minor. The authorities also accused her of not showing a “tenacious and aggressive resistance” towards Quiboloy’s alleged sexual advances.
While they noted that the complaint claims grave abuse of authority, the prosecutors said there was no evidence showing how Quiboloy used his influence to allegedly rape and take advantage of the victim.
“Abuse of influence cannot simply be inferred from the seeming influence that the respondent had over the complainant arising from his position in their organization; the same must be proven with evidence,” the prosecutors said in their 13-page ruling.
The victim also alleged that she and her sister were mauled by Cresente after they failed to keep their room and restroom clean in the residence that was provided by them by the Davao City church. But the prosecutors said that the complainant failed to show that the act was intended to debase or humiliate them, dismissing it instead as a “disciplinary action.”
Lawyer Israelito Torreon, Quiboloy’s chief counsel, told reporters that his defendant “was able to marshal overwhelming evidences (sic) and proof proving the falsity of the charges.”
This isn’t the first time that Quiboloy, who refers to himself as the “son of God,” has run afoul with the law. He was briefly arrested by the authorities in Hawaii after he was caught with military rifles and US$350,000 cash in his private plane. But a member of his church who was also onboard the aircraft claimed that the cash was hers and was arrested and charged with cash smuggling
The controversial church leader is also friends with another controversial figure, President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte has previously admitted receiving valuable gifts from the televangelist, including cars and properties when Duterte was still mayor of Davao City. He’s chalked up the donations to their three decades of friendship.
This article, Davao prosecutors dismiss rape, human trafficking charges against Apollo Quiboloy, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!