Apollo Quiboloy and Rodrigo Duterte: The intricate knot

Apollo Quiboloy and Rodrigo Duterte: The intricate knot

By: - Content Researcher Writer / @inquirerdotnet
/ 12:35 PM April 03, 2024

Apollo Quiboloy and Rodrigo Duterte: The intricate knot


MANILA, Philippines—The appointment of Rodrigo Duterte as administrator of the assets of Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) of Apollo Quiboloy has peeled a layer off what was described as “intertwined interests” of the former president and his preacher friend.

As pointed out by Sen. Risa Hontiveros last month, Quiboloy’s trust in Duterte is high that he decided to delegate the properties of his sect to the former chief executive, who has been his friend for over three decades already.


Looking back, it was Duterte himself who said that the wealthy preacher “doesn’t have other friends, I mean a friend he can really trust,” stressing this as the reason that Quiboloy has been giving him expensive gifts.


READ: Duterte admits receiving gifts from Quiboloy

“Every time si pastor magbili, dalawa ‘yan. Ang isa sa akin diyan, sigurado (Every time pastor buys something, he always gets two. One is mine, for sure),” he said in 2016, at the height of the exposé of then Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV that Duterte has billions of pesos worth of assets that are not declared.

The gifts, based on interviews with Duterte a few days before he was elected as the 16th president of the Philippines, include three properties in Woodridge Park, Ma-a, Davao City and two vehicles—a Nissan Safari and Ford Expedition, which are now worth almost P3 million and P4.5 million, respectively.

Apollo Quiboloy and Rodrigo Duterte: The intricate knot

GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan

Quiboloy, still in 2016, likewise said he was willing to donate his private jet, a 2015 Cessna Citation Sovereign Plus, and his Bell 429 helicopter, for Duterte’s use as president at no cost to the government.

Based on the website evoJets, the acquisition cost for the executive jet is $8.5 million to $8.7 million, while the Bell 429 helicopter is worth $6.4 million, as the website Business Jet Traveler cited.

Duterte, when campaigning for the presidency in 2016, has extensively used Quiboloy’s aircraft, enabling him to reach even the farthest communities in the Philippines. As he said, it was Quiboloy’s way of helping “so I can work, so I have no fear.”


Kingdom’s wealth

So now that Quiboloy, who has been promoting himself as the “appointed son of God”, is facing legal challenges in, and even outside the Philippines, Duterte, his friend, has been appointed as administrator of KJC’s assets.

Based on Article VI of the 1987 Constitution, “charitable institutions, churches and personages or convents appurtenant thereto, mosque and non-profit cemeteries, and all lands, buildings, and improvements, actually, directly and exclusively used for religious, charitable, or educational purposes shall be exempt from taxation.”

It’s not clear if Quiboloy’s group and businesses are covered by the tax exemption.

Besides owning an executive jet and a helicopter, Quiboloy’s KJC claimed it has over seven million followers in 200 countries and 2,000 cities, based on the preacher’s own website.

As stated by social anthropologist Antonio Montalvan II in a column, the KJC congregation practices tithing or forcible collection from followers.

But while the church’s website is silent on the percentage of its income from tithing, Hontiveros, in a hearing last month, presented Reynita Fernandez, an overseas Filipino Worker based in Singapore, who alleged that she and other domestic workers were pressured and harassed into giving 90 percent of their salaries to Quiboloy.

  • KJC owns business entities, too, with some appearing in a search on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) website:
  • Jose Maria College Foundation Inc., which was registered in the year 2000. Based on the school’s website, tuition is P1,250 per unit with a miscellaneous fee of P12,500 per semester.
  • ACQ Solomonic Builders Development Corp., which was registered in the year 2013 and was described in the KJC website as the church’s “own engineering and architectural group.”
  • ACQ College of Ministries, which was registered in the year 1973

Swara Sug Media Corporation, which was registered in the year 1992, and is doing business under the name/s and style/s of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), SMNI News Channel, Sonshine TV, and Sonshine Radio.

The church likewise operates several foundations and movements, like the Sonshine Philippines Movement, which was registered in the year 2005, and the Children’s Joy Foundation Inc., which, according to two Senate witnesses, had engaged in “money-making schemes.”

According to Montalvan, the group also markets subscriptions for its official publication called The Guide Magazine.

Giving back?

As Quiboloy’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, told the INQUIRER, Duterte “shall see to it that assets are protected, payables are paid, receivables collected and all financial matters are handled with due diligence with the end in view of benefitting the members of KJC in the best possible manner.”

READ: Duterte to protect Quiboloy ‘Kingdom’ assets — lawyer

But actually it was Duterte himself who offered to look after KJC’s assets, saying in an interview that “I offered to take his place, to supervise” since Quiboloy is “distracted at the moment.”

“The present rumblings, I would say, would maybe distract the pastor from the day-to-day operations […] So it was I who offered that “pastor, in the meantime that you are trying to figure out the things which you have to do or say regarding this present whatever […] I will run things for now,” said Duterte.

“There is no drama,” he stressed, saying that his decision was real and “I will stake my life and honor to his commitment to Quiboloy.” Duterte said “this is a debt of gratitude, so you would know.”

Legal cases vs. Quiboloy

Quiboloy, who is already 73 years old, has been indicted in the United States for conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, and sex trafficking of children; sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion; conspiracy; and bulk cash smuggling.

Apollo Quiboloy and Rodrigo Duterte: The intricate knot

GRAPHIC: Ed Lustan

A federal warrant for his arrest was issued on Nov. 10, 2021, but in a statement last Feb. 21, Quiboloy said that he has 20 lawyers working on the case and had already established his defense. “We are all ready,” he said.

RELATED STORY: US Treasury freezes Quiboloy assets

Last month, the Department of Justice ordered the filing of cases against Quiboloy after granting the petition for review that was filed by a complainant, who accused the preacher of raping her in 2014. The complaint was initially dismissed by the Davao City Prosecutor’s Office.

READ: DOJ orders multiple raps to be filed vs Quiboloy

The charges against Quiboloy are violation of the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, and violation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, which is non-bailable.

Quiboloy is likewise facing legal challenges at the Senate, the House of Representatives, the National Telecommunications Commission, and the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board either for his alleged sex and trafficking offenses or the “franchise violations” of SMNI.

Hontiveros has already cited Quiboloy in contempt and called for his arrest, however, Sen. Robin Padilla, who continues his profession as an actor, described the preacher as a “hero” and objected to the motion for contempt. He, however, failed to gather enough signatures to block the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality’s decision.


As stressed by Hontiveros, Duterte being appointed as administrator of KJC assets is an indication that it is becoming clearer how intertwined the interests, even the economic interests, of Duterte and Quiboloy.

READ: Duterte as Quiboloy assets chief bares ‘intertwined’ stakes – Hontiveros

This prompted Rep. France Castro (ACT Teachers) to point out that “the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Network (SALN) of former president Duterte has still not been released and we still do not know how big his assets have grown since he became president.”

The designation of Duterte as KJC wealth caretaker, she said, “raises more doubts on the connections of the two and talk of money laundering issues between them.” Quiboloy is Duterte’s spiritual adviser, too.

Duterte’s last publicly accessible SALN was in 2017, in which he declared a net worth of P28.5 million, so Castro asked the Office of the Ombudsman to release all the SALNs of Duterte or at least from 2016 to 2022, the stretch of his six-year presidency.

READ: Public and SALNs: Not just a fixation

Looking back, the Office of the Ombudsman issued a memorandum circular saying it would no longer grant public access to SALNs without the concerned officials’ consent.

Quiboloy, in his statement last Feb. 21, said that it was not his fault that he is friends with politicians, like Duterte and his daughter, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte. He said it was his way to take part in nation-building: “I don’t have any interest aside from the development of this country.”

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He pointed out that the cases against him are only meant to destroy him and the Dutertes as well.

TAGS: Apollo Quiboloy, INQFocus, Kingdom of Jesus Christ, Rodrigo Duterte

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