MANILA- Malacañang distanced itself Monday from the rape complaint filed against Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, a decades-long friend of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Salvador Panelo, Duterte's spokesman and chief legal counsel, said the Palace would not intrude into the case against the head of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
"First, I don’t know about it. Second, that should be a private matter involving the pastor. We will not intrude into that private domain," Panelo said.
"The rule of law in this country always prevails regardless of who is involved," he added.
A former member of Quiboloy's sect accused the pastor and 5 others of raping her in 2014 when she was just 17 years old. Quiboloy's camp, however, has denied the accusations.
Quiboloy, the self-proclaimed "appointed son of God," rose to national prominence in 2016 just as Duterte assumed the presidency.
The two longtime friends however allegedly had a spat after the President reportedly refused to accept the pastor's help in selecting Cabinet members.
They mended ties reportedly after the 2019 midterm elections.