DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 July) – Followers of international evangelist Pastor Apollo Quiboloy who were arrested for selling candies that were believed to be the cause of food poisoning in Caraga region were assured of legal assistance.
Expired durian and mangosteen candies reportedly downed a total of 1,699 victims, mostly children, in Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur last week. The candies carried the brand name Wendy’s.
Lawyer Sweetheart Aldevera told reporters that a team from Kingdom of Jesus Christ went to Surigao Monday and confirmed that at least seven of the arrested vendors were indeed members of their church.
“Over the weekend what we had were raw reports. We relied on texts and calls from our members who are near in Surigao. We could not fully verify. But yesterday, there was a member who confirmed that they are members. We cannot neglect them,” she said.
The team dispatched in Surigao, she said, will make sure that all the members will get what they need.
The head of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ who is currently on a tour in North America has already known about the incident, Aldevera said.
“In fact, the order we got from him is to make sure that the members get all the help they need. And extend the legal help we could,” she added.
The lawyer added they are awaiting the resolution from the prosecutor to know how much the bail would be so that the detained members could gain temporary freedom.
She said one of the members admitted that even before he became a member he was already selling candies.
“Once you become a member, you are not compelled to stop what you are doing. Our members go on with their lives,” she explained.
“We would like to assure everybody that the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is in close coordination and cooperation with the authorities in Surigao. We cannot afford to neglect our members. As a matter of fact, even non-members are getting help from Pastor Quiboloy,” she said.
Asked if the victims will get financial assistance, Aldevera said they have not yet discussed about it so far, pending investigation on what caused the poisoning and the apparent food contamination. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)