Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, founder of the Philippine-based Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, is the founder of the Philippine-based Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC), and is a close ally of former President Rodrigo Duterte. Image Credit: Facebook

Manila: The Youtube channel of Filipino megachurch paster Apollo Quiboloy, currently facing several charges in the US, has been shut down.

On Wednesday, a Twitter handle representing the video-sharing platform stated Quiboloy’s channel violated its guidelines.

It was responding to the tweet of a user who flagged that the "Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy" account continues to post videos despite the televangelist's standing arrest warrant with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The original Twitter post, dated June 20, 2023, has been viewed nearly 800,000 times. @TeamYouTube replied: "hey, update here: upon review, we've determined that the channel is in violation of Community Guidelines & has been terminated."

Quiboloy has been on FBI's most wanted list since February 2022 for sex trafficking, fraud, coercion, and bulk cash smuggling charges.

The FBI said he is wanted for "alleged participation in a labor trafficking scheme that brought church members to the United States, via fraudulently obtained visas, and forced the members to solicit donations for a bogus charity, donations that actually were used to finance church operations and the lavish lifestyles of its leaders.”

However, the megachurch pastor has been actively posting updates on his social media accounts and the YouTube account of his church “The Kingdom of Jesus Christ”.

He also recently posted his interview with former President Rodrigo Duterte on the YouTube page of his media company SMNI News, an influential channel in the Philippines.

In December 2022, the United States sanctioned Quiboloy for what it called "severe human rights breaches" and is also on its most wanted list.

The US Department of Treasury has sanctioned about 40 people from nine countries, including Quiboloy, for suspected involvement in corruption and violations of human rights.

Due to his alleged involvement in the sex trafficking of young girls within his religious community, Quiboloy was designated in accordance with an executive order implementing the US Global Magnitsky Act.

What does the Magnitsky Act do?
The Global Magnitsky Act of 2016 authorises the US government to sanction foreign government officials worldwide who are deemed to be human rights offenders, freeze their assets, and ban them from entering the US.

"Quiboloy is sanctioned under the Global Magnitsky Act for human rights violations. Among other effects, all property and interests in property for Quiboloy in the US are blocked, and US persons and entities are blocked from engaging in transactions with Quiboloy," the US Embassy in Manila stated in December, as per the official Philippine News Agency.

'Pervasive rape' of girls

In a press release dated Dec. 9, 2022, the US Treasury Department accused Quiboloy of engaging in "a pattern of systemic and pervasive rape of girls as young as 11 years old, as well as other physical abuse" for more than a decade, PNA reported.

According to the Treasury Department, Quiboloy kept "pastorals" in the United States and the Philippines.

Quiboloy FBI
Image Credit: Twitter

In November 2021, Quiboloy was indicted in the US for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, and sex trafficking of children.

The victims, according to the indictment, were hired to serve as his "pastorals" — or personal assistants — and were allegedly instructed to engage in sexual activity with him while on "night duty."

"Quiboloy exploited his role within the KOJC to rape his victims and subject them to other physical abuse, describing these acts as sacrifices required by the Bible and by God for the victims’ salvation," it added.

The sanctions were made public on December 10, International Anti-Corruption and Human Rights Day.