The Philippine government will co-operate with the United States if the country seeks the extradition of President Rodrigo Duterte’s spiritual adviser who has been charged with sex trafficking, a spokesman says.
Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ which is based in the southern city of Davao, was charged for allegedly running a sex-trafficking operation that coerced girls and young women to have sex with him.
Quiboloy is Duterte’s friend and spiritual adviser but the president has yet to issue a statement.
Duterte’s spokesman Karlo Nograles said the president’s relationship with Quiboloy was personal and he could not comment.
“Pastor Apollo Quiboloy is a private individual and I am sure he is capable of getting the proper legal advice,” he added.
Nograles assured officials in Washington DC that the government would co-operate if the US seeks Quiboloy’s extradition to face the charges.
“While I can say that these are all speculative, the Philippines always co-operates when it comes to extradition or processes of extradition,” he said.
“We will co-operate should such a request happen regardless of who is involved.”
Nograles added that the Philippine government “has been very constant in its efforts against trafficking in general, especially sex trafficking”.
Aside from Quiboloy, a number of Los Angeles-based administrators of the church were also charged, according to the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles.
“The Consulate General fully respects the laws of the state of California and the United States of America and will seek avenues to extend consular assistance to both the accused and the victims as appropriate,” it said in a statement.