Quiboloy and his separation of church and state excuse

Quiboloy and his separation of church and state excuse

In her 2014 article “Towards a Political Economy of Weak Institutions and Strong Elites in Central America,” Norwegian policial scientist Benedicte Bull argued that popular evangelical leaders “strengthen ties with elite groups operating in different spheres (including) politics, culture, and business, as well as to open doors for new actors/families with financial resources to enter into elite networks.”

Bull further argued that “the largest evangelical churches function as large companies with international ties and may therefore also serve to form international networks.” The prominence of Apollo Quiboloy, the leader of the sect Kingdom of Jesus Christ and self-appointed Son of God, in the Philippine society can be better understood in this context.

Quiboloy, who is based in Davao City, has been endorsing candidates during national elections for the last two decades. During the 2004 elections, he endorsed then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. By 2010, he supported the unsuccessful bid of then-Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.

Quiboloy’s national profile skyrocketed when his fellow Dabawenyo and close friend Rodrigo Duterte was elected President. Thoughout Duterte’s presidency, Quiboloy was able to expand his media empire called the Sonshine Media Network, Inc. or SMNI. During the 2022 presidential elections, the network even managed to organize a presidential debate which featured former Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. though it was shunned by the other major candidates.

Despite the fact that Quiboloy’s claim of being the “Appointed Son of God” has gained him notoriety not only in the Philippines but across the world, he is not being prosecuted for his dubious teachings.

Hence, Quiboloy and his allies like Senators Robin Padilla and Cynthis Villar cannot claim that the legal actions taken against him by the Senate, the House of Representatives, and other government institutions somehow violates his freedom of religion and the doctrine of separation of Church and State that is stipulated in the 1987 Constitution.

Quiboloy is facing charges of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion and sex trafficking of children in the United States, and he should be held criminally liable for that. Now, if the Philippine government won’t let justice take its due course against Quiboloy, then here’s hoping he can be held accountable in the other side of the Pacific.

About Author



Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here: https://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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