The currency smuggling charges against Felina Salinas, Hawaii leader of a Filipino megachurch, The Kingdom of Jesus Christ, have been dismissed, the group’s US legal counsel, Atty. Michael Jay Green, said in a statement.
This also clears Salinas of failing to report and concealing $335,000 in US currency and $9,000 in Australian currency, which were found in a suitcase onboard a jet bound for the Philippines from Hawaii in 2018.
Because the jet belonged to the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, its founder, Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy, who was also on the jet, was implicated in the case. The dismissal of the charges, clears his involvement in the case.
According to Green, the dismissal of the charges came after a statement to federal agents by the one who drove Pastor Quiboloy to the airport, that he was told by the Pastor not to put the suitcase in the plane and to leave it in the trunk.
Salinas, a long-time worker of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, who was also in the car, heard the instructions, and was herself surprised to see the suitcase on the plane.
Green, said that having heard the Pastor’s instructions, Salinas simply claimed the suitcase, intending to bring it to the Philippines. She did not know what was in the suitcase, as evidence presented in court has shown.
Green also disputed allegations that she was protecting Pastor Quiboloy.
“He did not need protection for anything because he did not even know what was in the suitcase,” he stressed.
The only charge Salinas now faces is for making a false statement by claiming the suitcase belonged to her.
With the dismissal of the two major charges, she will merely be serving no more than 90 days with a possibility of probation and home detention. Salinas has been in home detention since her indictment in 2018.