US-wanted Duterte ally issues conditions for surrender

A Filipino pastor wanted in the United States for child sex trafficking has demanded a guarantee of no extradition in exchange for his surrender to authorities in the Philippines, where he faces other charges.

Apollo Quiboloy, a self-proclaimed “Son of God” and ally of former president Rodrigo Duterte, is the founder of the Philippines-based Kingdom of Jesus Christ church.

The US Justice Department charged Quiboloy in 2021 with sex-trafficking of girls and women aged 12 to 25 to work as personal assistants, or “pastorals”, who were allegedly required to have sex with him.

Last month, the Philippine justice department charged Quiboloy with sexual abuse.

Quiboloy and five other defendants have also been charged with qualified human trafficking and other acts of child abuse.

A court has issued a warrant for Quiboloy’s arrest.

Quiboloy said he wanted a written guarantee from the Philippine government that “there will be no American interference and no extraordinary rendition” in the case if he surrenders to face charges in the Philippines.

“Unless you give me the guarantee I’m looking for, you won’t see me. Go ahead and manhunt me,” Quiboloy said in a voice clip posted on Saturday to the YouTube channel of his church’s television network Sonshine Media.

“I’d rather die at the hands of the Filipinos, for my blood to spill here in my country, than to die at the hands of the American authorities who are overseas, in their country.”

Quiboloy’s church is based in the southern city of Davao, which is Duterte’s stronghold.

The fugitive pastor said his situation in the Philippines “got complicated” after President Ferdinand Marcos came to power in 2022.

He alleged that Marcos’s government had “conspired” with the FBI and CIA to “hand me over to the Americans”.

If his demands were met, Quiboloy said: “I will appear and deal with all those cases, no matter where you bring them, here in the Philippines.”

Quiboloy was indicted in 2021 by US prosecutors who alleged, among other things, that girls and young women were coerced to have sex with him under threats of “eternal damnation”.

The Philippine justice department did not immediately respond to AFP’s request for comment on Quiboloy’s demands.

Culled from AFP