DOJ seeks hold departure order vs fugitive Quiboloy

DOJ seeks hold departure order vs fugitive Quiboloy

Apollo Quiboloy

Apollo Quiboloy (Photo from the official page of Sen. Christopher Go)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested the issuance of a hold departure order (HDO) against televangelist Apollo Quiboloy to ensure that he cannot leave the country and evade prosecution for his crimes.

Two local courts in Davao City and Pasig City have already ordered the arrest of the founder and leader of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) for alleged human trafficking and violation of the Anti-Child Abuse Law (Republic Act No. 7610).


READ: Quiboloy still in the Philippines, says DOJ


Justice Assistant Secretary Jose Dominic Clavano IV said at a press briefing in Malacañang on Thursday that prosecutors in the cases against Quiboloy have asked the courts to issue an HDO against him to prevent him from fleeing the Philippines.

Flight risk

He said Quiboloy was still in the Philippines based on information received by the DOJ.

“I believe the prosecutors have already filed their motion to issue a hold departure order. These are normal legal processes that the prosecutors are very used to,” Clavano said.

“Once you have a respondent or an accused that is a flight risk, especially given the resources that this person has, then the prosecutors are very diligent in making sure that the accused (won’t be able) to leave the country without facing the allegations in the proper forum,” he explained.

READ: SC: Transfer of Quiboloy’s sexual abuse of minor case to Pasig pending


Qualified trafficking is a nonbailable offense while a child abuse case has a recommended bail of P180,000 for sexual assault and P80,000 for maltreatment.

Akbayan petition

Members of the Akbayan party had earlier on Thursday filed a petition before the DOJ for the issuance of an HDO against the fugitive televangelist.

In a letter addressed to Remulla, Akbayan president Rafaela David said the KOJC leader’s evasion of the law posed an “imminent threat” to the safety and well-being of women and children, especially those who came forward to expose his crimes.

“Women and children have the fundamental right to live free from the threat of sexual violence and exploitation. Allowing Quiboloy to evade accountability would be a failure of our justice system’s duty to protect and uphold these rights,” she noted.

The DOJ, however, cannot issue an HDO, as the Supreme Court in 2018 ruled that the justice secretary had no authority to release such an order.

Based on Supreme Court jurisprudence, an HDO may be issued only by regional trial courts in criminal cases.

Quiboloy is currently the subject of an immigration lookout bulletin order, which does not restrict an individual from leaving the country, issued by the Bureau of Immigration.

An HDO is a directive issued by a court to prevent a person facing criminal charges from leaving the country and ensure that the individual remains in the country to face the legal process.

A court may issue an HDO upon the request of the prosecution, which should present sufficient evidence to justify the need for one.

Case transfer

At the same time, the DOJ has also asked the Supreme Court to transfer the child and sexual abuse cases of Quiboloy lodged before a Davao court to a Pasig court, where the latter is facing a nonbailable trafficking charge along with his five other associates, namely Jackielyn Roy, Cresente Canada, Paulene Canada, Ingrid Canada and Sylvia Cemanes.

Supreme Court spokesperson Camille Ting said Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo has not yet received the recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) on the petition to change the venue of Quiboloy’s cases.

“He (Gesmundo) earlier referred the letter of DOJ Secretary (Crispin) Remulla to the OCA for evaluation, report and recommendation,” Ting told reporters in a Viber message.

US indictment

Besides the charges in Philippine courts, former President Rodrigo Duterte’s spiritual adviser is also on the most wanted list of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation for conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, sex trafficking of children, and bulk cash smuggling.

However, the Philippine Embassy in the United States has so far not received any extradition request for Quiboloy.

“We were informed that there was potentially a request for his extradition, but so far, there has been none coming our way,” Philippine Ambassador to Washington Jose Manuel Romualdez told reporters in the US capital on Wednesday.

PH cases first

Washington also has law enforcement representatives in the US Embassy in Manila who could make the request directly to the DOJ, he pointed out.

“There is a warrant for his arrest right now, so I think first and foremost, they have to serve that first,” Romualdez said. “If a case is, in fact, filed against him in the Philippines, then the extradition will probably have to take a backseat,” he added.

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“It really depends on the Philippine government,” Romualdez said.

Quiboloy, who was indicted in California in 2021, claimed in a recorded video on YouTube early this month that the United States might kidnap or assassinate him through “extraordinary rendition” and that he would not surrender unless American authorities would not meddle in the string of cases filed against him.

TAGS: DoJ, Quiboloy

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