By Benjamin Pulta

SC Court Administrator Raul Villanueva (File photo)

MANILA – The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) has recommended to the Supreme Court (SC) the approval of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) request to transfer the child abuse case against Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KOJC) leader Apollo Quiboloy from a court in Davao City to Metro Manila.

Court Administrator Raul Villanueva, however, declined to disclose where the case against Quiboloy was suggested to be transferred.

“Yes, the OCA already submitted its recommendation, and it’s up to the Court to decide whether to approve it or not,” Villanueva told reporters in an ambush interview on Tuesday.

Quiboloy is facing sexual and child abuse charges in Davao City, while a non-bailable qualified human trafficking case was lodged against him in Pasig City.

DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano earlier said the department is seeking a transfer of the Davao cases against the controversial pastor to a Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC), instead of the Pasig City court due to concerns over the latter court’s caseload.

Aside from these cases, the KOJC leader was also indicted in the United States in November 2021 for conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, and sex trafficking of children, and is currently on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s wanted list.

The DOJ believes Quiboloy is still in the Philippines, and authorities have intensified the manhunt against the fugitive religious leader. (PNA)