Will Quiboloy evolve as our spiritual leader?

Will Quiboloy evolve as our spiritual leader?

Will Quiboloy evolve as our spiritual leader?

As we observe the holiest week in the Christian calendar, we have in our midst a person claiming to be the reincarnation of the man whose death and resurrection we remember and honor in this season of Lent. However, this self-proclaimed appointed son of God, Apollo Quiboloy, is the total opposite of the biblical son of God, Jesus Christ.

While Jesus chose to live as a wandering mendicant, Quiboloy lives in a sprawling estate with manicured gardens, and with a multitude of servants at his beck and call. Jesus shunned material possessions, while Quiboloy is associated with an “embarrassment of riches” that includes multiple million-dollar mansions in the United States, a fleet of luxury cars, an $18-million private aircraft, and a pricey helicopter. Jesus avoided unscrupulous political leaders, while Quiboloy basks in the company of the most scandal-ridden politicians in our country.

While Jesus lived a dignified life, Quiboloy stands charged with despicable crimes. He has standing warrants of arrest in the US, in Davao City, by the Philippine Senate, and another impending arrest warrant in Pasig City. In the US, he is accused of “serious human rights abuses, including a pattern of systemic and pervasive rape of girls as young as 11 years old, and he is currently on the FBI’s (Federal Bureau of Investigation) Most Wanted List.” In Davao City, he stands charged for sexual abuse of children. In Pasig City, he faces a nonbailable offense of human trafficking. He has been ordered arrested by the Senate for contempt because he refused to appear in an investigation.


Ordinarily, politicians would scamper away and avoid being associated with a dishonored figure like Quiboloy for fear that they would suffer a public backlash. Not in the case of Quiboloy, however. Powerful national leaders have openly come to his defense, including Vice President Sara Duterte, former president Rodrigo Duterte, and five incumbent senators including Imee Marcos, Robin Padilla, Christopher Go, Ronald dela Rosa, and Cynthia Villar.


It’s not hard to figure out why politicians calculate that there are more advantages than disadvantages in defending Quiboloy. The religious sect headed by Quiboloy claims to have members ranging from four million to seven million, who are viewed to behave as a solid voting block during elections. Quiboloy controls a television station, Sonshine Media Network International, that is increasingly becoming a mainstream source of news for the masses despite accusations that it purveys disinformation and political propaganda. A string of radio stations, newspapers, magazines, and even a school of higher learning, the Jose Maria College Foundation Inc., are also associated with the controversial religious leader.

Quiboloy’s religious sect is small compared to bigger religious congregations, but he has become more powerful and influential as a figure in our nation’s life, compared to the far-bigger Roman Catholic Church and mainstream protestant churches. The same is true with other religious sects that share the template followed by Quiboloy of parlaying sect membership into a political block.

Politicians, who have aspirations of higher political office, have not shied away from publicly supporting a disgraced Quiboloy because they cunningly calculate that they have so much to gain from obtaining support from Quiboloy’s solid block, and they have nothing to lose from mainstream churches who they perceive as having no influence on the political choices of their members. As a result, mainstream churches have been unwittingly helping the growth of amoral politicians.

Mainstream churches have valid reasons not to follow the Quiboloy template of shrewdly shepherding their members as sheep herded in someone’s political corral. However, they are defaulting in their spiritual and moral obligations in their failure to exact accountability—political or otherwise—on politicians who protect and empower spiritual leaders with questionable principles and morals.

The rise of religious leaders like Quiboloy mirrors the rise of the breed of political leaders who are now thriving in our midst. Flashy, bombastic, immodest in displaying wealth and extravagant living, and amoral. Unless mainstream churches, civil society, and principled mass organizations, embark on concerted actions to counter the evolving model of our spiritual leaders, our entrenched breed of political leaders will succeed in their efforts to dethrone Jesus as the biblical son of God, and enthrone their kindred spirit, the Apollo Quiboloys in our midst, as the appointed sons of God. If they succeed, Filipinos will become the new chosen people. For heaven or hell? Heaven of course, because that will be the evolved name of hell.



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TAGS: Apollo Quiboloy, opinion

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