No extradition request yet but DOJ to abide by extradition treaty
MANILA — The Department of Justice has yet to receive any information on the sanctions imposed by the US Treasury Department on Kingdom of Jesus Christ Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.
“Wala pa. Wala pa (None yet, none yet). We’re waiting by the sidelines kung anong magiging action nila,” DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla told reporters on Monday.
On Friday, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Quiboloy and around 40 other individuals and entities in 9 countries for alleged involvement in corruption and human rights abuses.
The press release specifically mentioned the televangelist’s involvement in an alleged “pattern of systemic and pervasive rape of girls as young as 11 years old, as well as other physical abuse.”
Quiboloy’s lawyers on Sunday cried foul over the sanctions, claiming his rights to due process and presumption of innocence were violated because sanctions were already imposed before the scheduled hearings in the cases he is facing next year.
US prosecutors indicted Quiboloy in November 2021 on sex trafficiking, fraud, and cash smuggling charges.
He was placed on the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted list in February this year.
But Remulla said the Philippine Justice department has yet to receive any extradition request from the US.
“Wala pa. Ano to. Hindi naman to mabilis eh. Marami pang mangyayari dito. They still have to file the necessary cases. Inuna lang ata nila itong freezing of the assets. So wait and see lang tayo,” he said.
The US Treasury Department sanctions are different from the criminal cases Quiboloy is facing but both are based on the same allegations.
The Justice chief however promised to “abide by” the Philippine-US extradition treaty.”
“Sa atin naman kasi we have a treaty with them, we have an extradition treaty and we have to abide by the terms of conditions our agreements with our friends from abroad,” he said.
In the Philippines, complaints for rape, trafficking in persons through sexual abuse, trafficking in persons through forced labor, physical abuse and child abuse were filed against Quiboloy but Davao prosecutors, in June 2020, junked the complaints.
A petition for review is pending before the Office of the Justice secretary.
But Remulla said he has yet to see the appeal.
“Wala pa. hindi ko pa nakikita. Kung meron syang petition for review hindi ko pa nakikita,” he said.