Davao City — Followers of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, the head of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) sect, rejoiced over a court ruling in Hawaii dismissing the smuggling case against sect leader Felina Salinas.
The news was received jubilantly by (KJC) members in Hawaii, who gathered outside the courthouse “in support of and to congratulate Salinas,” according to lawyer Michael Green, KJC’s general counsel in Hawaii, in a statement.
The Hawaii court under Chief Judge Michael Seabright dismissed the currency smuggling case against Salinas, and handed her only a 30-day detention and a fine of $500 for her “false statement.”
“Because of COVID-19, we are modest with our celebration,” said Quiboloy’s lawyer Israelito Torreon in a press briefing here on Friday night.
“We only had a small and simple gathering last night but the celebration is not important. What is important is the clearing of the name of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and the clearing of the name of our beloved Pastor,” Torreon said.
Salinas, who heads the KJC in Hawaii, was charged with currency smuggling in 2018 after a suitcase containing more than $300,000 (roughly P15 million) in undeclared cash was found on a Philippines-bound private jet owned by the church. She pleaded guilty for claiming responsibility for the suitcase when she saw it was on board because it wasn’t supposed to be there.
About loyalty, devotion
Green said in a statement distributed by the Philippine News Agency that the dismissal of the charges clearly proved “that there was never any attempt to smuggle currency out of the United States.”
“The crime had nothing to do with currency smuggling. It had nothing to do with the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and had nothing to do with Pastor Quiboloy,“ Green said of Salinas’ sentence. “It was just about the loyalty and devotion of a church member who grew up under the care of the pastor and the Kingdom.”
Torreon said they were trying to secure more evidences for a possible case against those who were in a conspiracy to destroy the reputation of the sect, including media entities who first flashed the report that Quiboloy had been detained in the United States for a huge amount of cash and guns found in his private jet.
“The fact was, when Manila broke the news, the (media outlets said) guns were involved in the case in Hawaii,” he said and clarified that there was no gun involved.
“We also want to protect the good name of the KJC and our beloved pastor Apollo Quiboloy,” said Torreon.
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