Claiming that sex with him was a “privilege” and “God’s will,” controversial megachurch pastor and founder of the Philippines-based Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church, Apollo Quiboloy, and two of his top administrators have been charged with trafficking young women and girls in the U.S. who were coerced into having sex with him under threats of “eternal damnation.”
“Defendant Quiboloy and other KOJC administrators coerced pastorals into performing ‘night duty’ — that is, sex — with defendant Quiboloy under the threat of physical and verbal abuse and eternal damnation by defendant Quiboloy and other KOJC administrators,” the indictment from the Department of Justice released Thursday alleges. “Defendant Quiboloy and other KOJC administrators told pastorals that performing ‘night duty’ was ‘God’s will’ and a privilege, as well as a necessary demonstration of the pastoral’s commitment to give her body to defendant Quiboloy as ‘The Appointed Son of God.’”
The recent charges expand on allegations made early last year against three Los Angeles-based administrators of the church and names nine defendants, including the 71-year-old Quiboloy, and his two administrators, Teresita Tolibas Dandan, also known as “Tessie,” and “Sis Ting,” 59, of Davao City. The “international administrator” was one of the top overseers of KOJC and the Glendale-based Children’s Joy Foundation in the United States.
The other top administrator, Felina Salinas, also known as “Sis Eng Eng,” 50, of Kapolei, Hawaii, allegedly collected and secured passports and other documents from KOJC workers in Hawaii. She also allegedly directed funds solicited from church members to church officials in the Philippines.
Quiboloy, Dandan and Salinas are charged in count one of a superseding indictment, which alleges the sex trafficking conspiracy. Each of them is charged in at least three of five substantive counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion.
They are accused of bringing church members to the U.S. with fraudulently obtained visas, then forcing them to solicit donations for the Children’s Joy Foundation which is identified as a “bogus charity” as the donations were used for church operations and supporting the lavish lifestyles of church leaders.
Quiboloy, Dandan and Salinas allegedly recruited girls ranging in age from 12 to 25, to work as personal assistants or “pastorals,” for Quiboloy, the indictment adds. The victims prepared Quiboloy’s meals, cleaned his residences, gave him massages and were required to have sex with him. Five female victims, three of whom were minors when the alleged sex trafficking began, are named in the indictment which alleges the sex trafficking began no later than 2002 and continued until at least 2018.
The victims were allegedly ordered by Quiboloy and his top administrators to have sex with the megachurch pastor on a schedule. They were expected to be obedient and rewarded for good behavior “good food, luxurious hotel rooms, trips to tourist spots, and yearly cash payments that were based on performance.”
Victims who didn’t readily embrace their night duties were told “that they had the devil in them and risked eternal damnation.”
When victims managed to escape from their duties they would suffer threats and harassment.
“Defendant Quiboloy would give sermons, broadcasted to KOJC members around the world, in which he would allege that victims who escaped had engaged in criminal conduct and sexually promiscuous activity, and therefore faced eternal damnation, in order to discourage other victims from leaving, retaliate against and discredit the victims, and conceal the sexual activity between defendant Quiboloy and the victims,” the indictment continues.
Quiboloy, who is a former member of the United Pentecostal Church, founded the Restorationism church in 1985 after he said he received a calling from God. According to Asia Times, God came to his mother in the form of a cloud after he was born, and declared, “That’s my son.”
“When the Father called me, He isolated me in two mountains. He let me go through some spiritual experiences that I never had before. He said, ‘I’ll give to you the spirits of these ministries: the mosaic, solomonic and the prophetic ministries.’ And in those visions, I (and many others) saw myself standing, as three, big, spirit-like men entered my body. The interpretation was of the three ministries – the mosaic, the solomonic, and the prophetic ministry – entrusted to me by the Father,” Quiboloy notes on the church’s website where he calls himself the appointed son of God.
Since his calling, Quiboloy has grown wealthy and is a longtime friend of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
He claims to have 4 million tithing followers in the Philippines, 2 million more overseas, and reaches 600 million viewers worldwide through his TV station, Asia Times said.