A PROMINENT Philippine evangelist who claims to be the “Appointed Son of God” was reportedly arrested in Hawaii with US$350,000 in cash and gun parts that could be assembled into military-style rifles.
According to The Inquirer, customs and border enforcement agents on Tuesday boarded a private plane carrying Apollo Quiboloy, and leader of the Phillipine Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) an ally-turned-critic of President Rodrigo Duterte .
The preacher is the head of a “mega-church” in the staunchly Catholic Southeast Asian country that boasts six millions of followers globally.
EXCLUSIVE: Fed. agents seize private plane with $350K + parts for military style guns. Pastor of mega church in Philippines, Apollo Quiboloy detained for day, his Hawaii business mgr. arrested & charged w/ attempted smuggling. More: https://t.co/t075aMEmOy pic.twitter.com/4WyPP5X6OT
— Lynn Kawano (@LynnKawano) February 15, 2018
Quiboloy, who was in Hawaii for a concert, was detained for a day and left in the next on a commercial flight back to the Philippines. He was among six people on a Cessna Citation headed for the Philippines during the raid.
However, 47-year-old Felina Salinas, the only US citizen from Makakilo, Hawaii who was on board the plane, was arrested after she claimed the suitcase containing the money and weapons parts was hers.
The money, in US$100 bills, was tucked in socks in the suitcase. US Federal Law requires travellers to declare cash amounting to more than US$10,000 taken out of the country, but Salinas declared on $40,000 of the total US$350,000 found by officials.
The woman was charged with smuggling the cash and was released on US$25,000 bond. She is expected to make her next court appearance on Feb 27.
Authorities are also in the process of seizing the private plane, said to be worth US$15 million and is still parked in Honolulu.
Quiboloy, a “close friend” of Duterte when the latter was still Davao city Mayor, has on numerous occasions offered the president to use his private aircraft, which among others includes a 2015 Cessna Citation Sovereign Plus and a Bell 429 helicopter.
However, Duterte has refused to use the aircraft.
According to Rappler, Duterte previously admitted to receiving valuable gifts from Quiboloy throughout their 30 years of friendship. The assets include three properties, but the preacher had fallen out of favour with Duterte when he was elected president.
Quiboloy is no stranger to controversy as he has been accused of land-grabbing from indigenous peoples in Davao city to expand his 8-hectare compound which is home to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ’s mansion and a school he founded.
In 2008, the communist New People’s Army (NPA) accused Quiboloy of being behind the massacre of K’lata-Bagobos leader Datu Domingo Diarog and his family for allegedly refusing to sell two hectares of their property to the Evangelist and his sect. Quiboloy has denied the accusations as “baseless”.
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) February 15, 2018
In 2014, Quiboloy allegedly ordered 40 armed men to evict families from the indigenous Lumad group from Barangay Manuel Guianga from their land so he could extend his “kingdom”.
In his official website, www.apolloquiboloy.com, the pastor is repeatedly mentioned as the “Appointed Son of God”.