How did he become the Appointed Son of God? Apollo Quiboloy relates his “anointment” story.
When he was 14 years old, he dreamed of the second coming of Christ for two successive nights. He would later go to a bible college in Manila, where he learned the art of preaching. After graduation in 1972, he was sent to South Korea in 1973 for a conference of American and Canadian evangelists.
“It was on the last day of that conference, inside the hotel ballroom, when Pastor Apollo first heard the audible voice of the Father Almighty speaking to him. Amid all the weeping and praising, he heard a voice, clear as day. ‘Gamiton ta ka’ (‘I will use you’), it said in the Visayan vernacular.”
But the American missionaries present instead saw a red flag in what he claimed. They told him: “You know, when you pray, that is you talking to God, but when you hear God talking to you, there is something wrong. You need to see a doctor.”
That wasn’t Quiboloy’s only brush with fellow pastors and evangelists. His denomination turned against him. Quiboloy’s version says others were jealous of him because he was a rising star. It was after this period when he went on his own, first in the mountains of South Cotabato, where he claims he had a series of visions. No one had witnessed these claims. Quiboloy would always say these revelations were for him only, and that he was instructed to tell no one.
He became affiliated with the United Pentecostal Church, as did his father and his brothers. Leaving South Cotabato to preach at a UPC chapel in Tamayong, Davao city, the Quiboloy official website relates his anointment:
“Pastor Apollo was preaching about the fruits of the flesh and the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:19-23 when suddenly he stopped speaking. Unbeknownst to all, he saw heavenly visitors enter the chapel. Angels came up to the altar and poured anointing oil over his head, wetting his clothes from head to foot.” Again, notice the absence of witnesses. Despite the presence of congregants in that chapel, no one saw what he had claimed.
Rejected by his fellow missionaries for his incredible tales, his own family turned against him. “His brothers became his most forceful persecutors. They would go to Pastor Apollo’s home just to malign him and abuse him, sometimes physically. Once even trying to burn down his house. Everyone in the denomination believed that Pastor Apollo was under a great deception.”
Today, he claims he has the power to even raise the dead. He says he is only the third person in two millennia of religious history to have been used by God to restore God’s people. “Twice only in the past had this spiritual university been opened. Once for 40 years when Moses trained in the wilderness. And again for 17 ½ years when the Apostle Paul was trained in the deserts of Arabia, where he wrote the Pauline epistles.”
His website turns even more claims: “Pastor Apollo Carreon Quiboloy, also known as the Appointed Son of God, can be described as a revolutionary preacher. Yet, the word barely covers what this man has done. He has shattered age-old beliefs and torn down traditions held sacred by religion and denomination.”
Since the 18th century, 39 men and women have claimed to be Jesus Christ reincarnated. Quiboloy ranks among the most notorious.
Coinciding with Apollo Quiboloy’s role as Rodrigo Duterte’s “spiritual adviser” in last six years is the rise of his net assets.He owns a helicopter, a Cessna Citation Sovereign jet (acquisition cost between $7,740,000 and $9,460,000), reportedly a second private jet, and a host of business entities that we shall soon see with mouths agape. He is not just the “appointed son of god.”
Members of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, his congregation, are required to practice tithing. The church’s website is silent on the percentage, but it recommends three ways on how to “send the tithes”: deposit or bank transfer, via check, or online giving.
Among the business entities he owns is one that has risen tremendously since Duterte became president. This is the construction company called ACQ Solomonic Builders Development Corporation. On January 5, 2018, for example, the Compostela Valley province (today renamed Davao de Oro) transparency portal announced it awarded the rehabilitation of the farm-to-market road from Napnapan to Binogsayan for the bid price of 15,203,000 Pesos to the Quiboloy firm.
It has become a key construction player in government projects in and around the Davao region. In October 2018, it was in the bid for the concreting of Upper Bliss, Barangay Sainz, Mati, Davao Oriental, a project of the Department of Public Works and Highways. In June 2020, it participated in the bidding of the Department of Agriculture for the Numo Small Water Impounding Project (a.k.a. Numo Diversion Dam) in South Cotabato, with a bid price of P13,048,633.99.
The church also markets subscriptions for its official publication called The Guide Magazine (“the way to freedom and truth”). It also runs the school Jose Maria College (beside the Francisco Bangoy Airport in Davao city) that offers basic, secondary, college, and postgraduate education. The school has a college of law that offers a master’s degree in Law. The school is named after Quiboloy’s parents.
The Church also has Sonshine Sports Management, which offers sports tournaments and lists Quiboloy as the “honorable chairman.” Sonshine Radio operates radio stations all around the Philippines (Manila, Dagupan, Tuguegarao, Cagayan de Oro, Davao city, Cebu city, Santiago, Cabanatuan). There are two television channels, one operating from a studio at ACQ Tower, Santa Rita street, Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati city. And so even in Metro Manila he owns prime real estate.
Among the prominent entries in Quiboloy’s website is a political statement:“China is now the world’s richest country.” Accompanying it are photos of Duterte with Xi Jin Ping and of Duterte with Quiboloy. In it, he admits that he was part of the official delegation of the Duterte state visit to China in 2019. Quiboloy tweaks China’s success in his own religious narrative. When he was a young boy in Tamayong, the Chinese store’s son-in-law reprimanded the store’s attendants for making him wait for so long to buy rice, sardines, and noodles. That kindness to him, as today’s “appointed son of god,” is being repaid by China reaping the providential benefits. “It is because of a promise that has been fulfilled.”
Hence, Quiboloy has nothing to say about China’s intrusions into Philippine territory in the West Philippine Sea. Ergo, he has nothing to say about extrajudicial killings. He has nothing to say about the corruption red flags at Duterte’s city hall, like the 11,000 ghost employees. He has nothing to say about the Pharmally mess. He has nothing to say about Dennis Uy’s incredible acquisition of the Malampaya gas fields.
Quiboloy claims he is being persecuted. But these tales are not new. As early as 2009, child trafficking allegations have surfaced against Quiboloy. One mother who reported the case of her lost daughter was instead harassed. A true son of God has no fear of persecution. Jesus Christ, after all, set the supreme example of surrendering Himself completely to His execution by crucifixion.
What Quiboloy probably fears is not persecution, but the fallout of his power to dictate to human mortals.And then there is the ultimate fallout: the loss of his economic windfalls.
The problem is not our eternal damnation.
The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of VERA Files.