Lawyer slams media for linking Pastor Quiboloy to US smuggling case
Updated @ 11:32 p.m., Aug. 7, 2018
DAVAO CITY — The lawyer of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy on Tuesday slammed the media for dragging his client’s name to the reported smuggling of hundreds of thousands of dollars discovered by American authorities from a representative of his religious group in Hawaii in February.
Lawyer Israelito Torreon said the Davao City-based preacher, a close friend of President Rodrigo Duterte, was never named in the indictment.
“I was told that you guys implicated Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in the indictment against Felina Salinas. I hope you will correct it because the name of Pastor Quiboloy was never indicated there,” Torreon said in a text message on Monday.
He said Quiboloy was never subject to any case in Hawaii, “much less was his name mentioned in the indictment against Felina S. Salinas, the representative of Quiboloy’s Kingdom of Jesus Christ the Name Above Every Name church.”
He also warned the media against drawing “unnecessary conclusions,” saying they should base their reports “purely on the text of the indictment.”
A report last week by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser named Salinas in an indictment by a federal grand jury as a respondent to a bulk cash smuggling case for failing to report she was carrying $335,000 in US currency and 9,000 in Australian dollars in February.
Citing the indictment, the paper said the money belonged to the pastor. It also reported that Salinas was indicted for helping Quiboloy avoid arrest and prosecution.
“If the grand jury or the federal prosecutors did not expressly specify the name of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in the indictment, what would give you the authority to draw unnecessary conclusions therefrom?” Torreon asked.
“My client is not happy with the way you ‘angled’ the report. You always give it a ‘political’ touch when my client has consciously veered away from involvement in politics these days,” he added.
Salinas was arrested on Feb. 13 at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport for failing to declare all amounts of cash over $10,000 in her possession.
She reported carrying only $40,000 and the Philippine peso equivalent of $20 but US customs and border protection officers found a much bigger amount in her bag. /ee
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