Following his mind-boggling declaration that he had personally halted the Mindanao earthquake, a controversial televangelist yesterday accepted a TV host’s dare to pull off two more impossible feats.
As one would expect of someone who claims to be the “Appointed Son of God,” Apollo Quiboloy didn’t break a sweat when he accepted host Vice Ganda’s dare to stop heavy traffic on EDSA – the heavily congested Manila thoroughfare – and also end the notoriously long-running TV action show Ang Probinsyano.
It all started when Vice Ganda joked about the pastor’s viral Oct. 30 earthquake claim on Tuesday’s episode of his noontime program It’s Showtime. Vice said the powers the culty religious leader boasts of could be channeled to other useful things, like trying to end Manila’s crippling traffic. He added that Ang Probinsyano’s only risk of ever concluding after four years would be by Quiboloy’s command. The (admittedly funny) impositions drew laughter from the audience.
Then came Quiboloy’s Thursday episode of his show Spotlight, during which he took up Vice’s challenge.
“When do you want it stopped?” he said of the first gauntlet thrown down by Vice.
As for ending Ang Probinsyano, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name, founder bluffed, “One month? Two months? Four months? You choose.”
As if even divine intervention could end that show.
Then, in a threatening tone, the accused cult leader turned something that could have been fun into something sinister:
“Maybe in four months it’s not just Probinsyano that comes to a stop, maybe it’s your network, too.”
The network Quiboloy was referring to was ABS-CBN. Quiboloy’s friend President Rodrigo Duterte has carried a grudge against the station for awhile after it refused to run his 2016 ad campaign. The station’s franchise has yet to be renewed, and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano earlier this week admitted that he was hesitant to support the renewal of the franchise on personal grounds.
ABS-CBN News is a media content partner of Coconuts Manila.
The pastor meanwhile, didn’t stop there. Addressing Vice’s request to stop EDSA’s traffic, Quiboloy quipped, “How do I stop it? It’s already not moving. The challenge should be [to] let traffic flow.”
“EDSA is already a huge parking lot. How can I stop something that’s already at a standstill?” he said.
He then delivered a sermon about how influential celebrities “shouldn’t be boastful,” because bad things could happen to them, like what occurred to The Beatles’ John Lennon.
“The Beatles, when they were popular, John Lennon said it won’t be long before the bible will vanish. Because [he said] ‘We’re more popular than Jesus Christ.'” [But] a fan went to get his autograph in New York, when he turned around he was shot in the head dead with a 22 caliber gun,” Quiboloy said.
Quiboloy said that had Lennon practiced humility, he would not have been killed.
“So the lesson is, don’t be boastful,” he said, obviously warning Vice.
Um, OK, guy who once called himself the Appointed Son of God on his church’s website.
Earlier this week, Vice’s jokes about Quiboloy were also attacked by DZAR broadcaster Mike Abe, who said he was a close friend of the Kingdom of Jesuser, though not a member of his sect.
In his show Usaping Bayan, Abe on Tuesday attacked the cross-dressing Vice by saying he was not a real woman — although the comedian has never claimed he was. The broadcaster also said that it was wrong for the comedian to take potshots at the pastor because “he’s a really simple man.”
“Pastor Quiboloy is respected by so many politicians here and abroad. So many businessmen respect him and around the world. He has 7 million members, and then you say he’s boastful? F*ck you,” Abe ranted.
Quiboloy, for those who don’t know, does indeed have many politician friends, the most notable of which is President Rodrigo Duterte, who has previously admitted receiving valuable gifts from the televangelist, including cars and properties when Duterte was still mayor. He chalked up the donations to their three decades of friendship (so y’know, don’t worry about corruption or conflicts of interest or nothin’).
Last year, Quiboloy was briefly detained in Hawaii for illegally possessing guns and US$350,000 cash that were found in his private plane. But a certain Felina Salinas, a member of his church who was also onboard the aircraft, claimed that the cash was hers and was arrested and charged with attempted bulk cash smuggling.
Good to have good friends, indeed.