Senator Bong Go, presidential-aide-turned-senator, said President Rodrigo Duterte would not get in the way should the United States seek to extradite Apollo Quiboloy, who faces sex trafficking charges in the US.
Quiboloy, a close friend and spiritual adviser to Duterte, was indicted by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles for running a sex trafficking operation that threatened victims as young as 12 with “eternal damnation” and physical abuse. The Palace earlier said it would cooperate should the US file an extradition request.
“Abugado si PRRD at ako po’y naniniwala na sumusunod sa batas ang ating presidente. Bilang presidente, naniniwala ako [na] siya nagpapatupad sa anumang treaty,” he said in a chance interview with reporters on Monday, November 22, in General Santos City. The senator, who still follows Duterte around in his engagements as president, was asked if Duterte would get in the way of possible extradition.
The US has yet to make any such requests.
Los Angeles prosecutors announced on November 19 (Manila time) charges against Quiboloy, for allegedly coercing girls and young women to have sex with him. Quiboloy is the founder of the Davao-based Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name.
Duterte has long been open about his ties to Quiboloy. Go on November 22 said Quiboloy was Duterte’s friend and that Duterte is loyal to his friends. “Kaibigan sila. Si Presidente, pag kaibigan ka, kaibigan ka,” he said.
(They’re friends. When the President says you’re friends, he really treats you as a friend.)
On the day the US announced charges against Quiboloy, the self-styled preacher had claimed that Go, who is Duterte’s anointed 2022 bet, is “destined” for the presidency.