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SOMEONE ELSE’S WINDOWS: Fugitive ‘Son of God’

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MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 8 May) – It’s clear that self-proclaimed Son of God Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy won’t submit himself to either the Senate or the court under the current administration. The leader of the doomsday cult Kingdom of Jesus Christ is facing a Senate inquiry for alleged sexual abuses, among other cases, and has been indicted for the same crimes in Davao City and Pasig.

Quiboloy is trying to justify his action with claims that the cases against him are a ploy to ultimately put him in the hands of the US government. He is also wanted in the US for sex trafficking by fraud and coercion and other felonies. A court in California has issued an arrest warrant for him, raising the possibility of him being extradited to the US once his cases before Philippine courts are resolved.

However, domestic laws would suffice to force Quiboloy to choose the life of a fugitive – although I believe he’s just hiding in plain sight. For one, the rape charges could make him rot in jail at least for the duration of the trial. Presumably, his lawyers had explained what he should expect if he decides to face the court. This is probably why his friend and ally former president Rodrigo Duterte advised him to not give up.

Under Republic Act 8353, the Anti-Rape Law of 1997, rape is generally categorized as a non-bailable offense when the evidence of guilt is strong. If the evidence of guilt is not strong, granting bail becomes discretionary on the part of the judge.

One thing that may work against Quiboloy is that the appellant-complainant in the cases dating back to 2011 was a minor at that time. The Davao City Prosecutor dismissed the complaint in a resolution dated June 29, 2020 but it was overturned by Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla in March this year.

According to an explainer posted on www.respicio.ph on September 30, 2023, “If the victim is under 18, the crime is considered statutory rape. This is generally viewed more severely and the likelihood of bail being granted decreases, especially if the evidence of guilt is strong.”

The judge’s decision whether to grant or deny bail can also be influenced by the past criminal history of the accused, risk of the accused fleeing, and threat to the victim or community, the explainer added.

Quiboloy may not have a criminal history as far as police and local court records are concerned. But his pending cases in the US, his connections to powerful figures, and capability to intimidate and harm his accusers would certainly count.

My guess is that Quiboloy’s plan is to wait and hope for a friendly candidate to win the presidency in 2028. We know who that is.

Funny. The supposed Savior, someone who claims to be beyond the embrace of death, is waiting to be saved by a mortal.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached by hmcmordeno@gmail.com.)

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