Aurelio and Erlinda Rillon, who are critics of Apollo Quiboloy, founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, His Name Above Other Names Inc., were arrested on Thursday on the strength of a Davao City prosecutor’s warrant for libel.
Quiboloy’s group sued the Rillon couple in Davao City for claiming that the religious group has recruited young adults and teenagers like their daughter, Arlene, to earn money for the church.
Erlinda cried when she and her husband were led down the Baguio City Jail, accompanied by some 20 members of the local religious groups Beacons of Christ Inc. and the Fourth Watch and the Gabriela party-list group.
The church members had picketed the jail to protest the Rillons’ arrest.
The city jail officials declined to keep the couple because the city’s cells are cramped with 516 inmates.
Rillons were sent to the holding cell of Precinct 7 while friends and sympathizers try to raise the P20,000 bail for the couple.
Erlinda said they have so far managed to raise P8,000. They are hoping that sympathetic groups, neighbors and the Department of Social Welfare and Development will help them raise the remaining P12,000.
Baguio media outfits have also started a fund drive to help the couple.
Erlinda, who was a Kingdom member, allowed Arlene to join a Kingdom-sponsored Davao youth camp in 2004 when she was 18 years old, after being promised by coordinators that she would return home.
But Arlene chose to stay at the Kingdom’s headquarters to train as a church leader, according to court records.
The Rillons sued the Kingdom’s Baguio coordinators for abducting and detaining their daughter, but Judge Clarence Villanueva of the Baguio regional trial court was compelled to dismiss the case when Arlene turned 19 in August last year.
But Nelida Lizada, the Kingdom’s central administrator, said the Rillons “caused the publication” of their charges in various media outfits and this cost the church its honor and reputation.
Emilio Dayanghirang III, a Davao prosecutor, said while the Rillons “were understandably hurt by the decision of their daughter” to join Quiboloy’s group, “it does not, however, give them the right to defame the Kingdom…”