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DOJ issues lookout bulletin vs. Kapa execs, incorporators, raps up

The Justice department on Friday issued an immigration lookout bulletin against eight incorporators and eight officers of Kapa Community Ministry International Inc., and three officers of the Alabel-Maasim Credit Cooperative.

The issuance of the ILBO came as the National Bureau of Investigations was preparing the filing of criminal charges against the incorporators and officials of Kapa for violating the Securities Regulation Act.

READ: Cult in trouble for invest schemes

“Immigration officers are directed to monitor within all ports of exit and entry the movement of those covered and verify if legal basis exists to prevent them from leaving Philippine jurisdiction,” Justice Undersecretary Mark Perete said in a statement.

Covered by the immigration lookout bulletin were Kapa incorporators Pastor Joel Apolinario, Nonita Urbano, Junnie Apolinario, Nelia Nino, Maria Pellea Sevilla, Jouelyn del Castillo, Cristobal Barabad and Joji Jusay, as well as Kapa officers, namely Reyna Apolinario, Modie Dagala, Benigno Tipan Jr., Marnilyn Maturan, Ricky Taer, and Margie Danao.

Also covered by ILBO were officers of ALAMCCo, namely Jerson Cagang, chairman; Cynthia Gomeri, corporate secretary; and Ailene Mancoa, chief finance officer.

The NBI is expected to file next week before the Department of Justice criminal complaints against Kapa in connection with its alleged involvement in an investment scam.

NBI National Capital Region Regional Director Cesar Bacani said they will file the appropriate cases arising from the search warrants the NBI served last Monday.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte again ordered the closure of “Ponzi-like” operations of Kapa, in which members must make a “donation” of at least P5,000 and are promised a 30-percent “blessing” every month.

Calling it a “massive fraud,” the President stood pat on his order to shut down the illegal investment scheme, despite appeals from the ministry’s leaders and members who staged a prayer rally at the city sports complex Thursday.

Police said about 100,000 Kapa members joined the prayer rally, coinciding with the President’s visit to General Santos City to distribute land titles to agrarian reform beneficiaries in Region 12. 

“I’m sorry. The operation will be stopped or shall stop immediately,” Duterte said in a speech at the city gymnasium in Barangay Lagao.

Although Kapa obtained a court injunction prohibiting the Security and Exchange Commission from enforcing its cease and desist order, the President said Kapa’s “donation” scheme is a continuing crime that the government must stop to protect the public.

Kapa’s lawyers argued that the pending court injunction must be respected, and that the group is willing to disband should the courts say so.

Last week, the National Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies launched a series of raids against Kapa offices and other investment entities in Mindanao.

NBI agents also raided the house of Kapa founder Pastor Joel Apolinario in Barangay City Heights here, seizing documents and other potential evidence of the group’s operations.

READ: Founder says he drew Quiboloy’s ire for ‘poaching’

Kapa, which started in 2015, is a registered religious group that solicits “donations” at a monthly interest rate of 30 percent. None of its members has come forward to file legal action so far, although Apolinario faced more than 20 charges of estafa that have since been settled in court.

Early this year, the SEC revoked Kapa’s registration and issued a permanent cease and desist order over its investment operations.

Apolinario made an appearance at the prayer rally at 5 p.m. on Thursday and announced to his members that Duterte has already “softened his stance on Kapa and allowed it to continue.”

He claimed that he was summoned by the President hours before in Davao City to relay “the good news.”

Palace officials, however, denied that Duterte had met with Apolinario.

The President’s remarks showed no sign of softening.

“All of you from Kapa [members], if your name is there on the list as benefactor or sponsor, you better watch out because once you are arrested, it’s non-bailable,” he said.

The President said the closure of Kapa and other illegal investment operations is based on existing laws that he is bound to implement.

Ponzi schemes, he noted, have existed for a long time and he was among the first to investigate some cases when he was a public prosecutor in Davao City.

Duterte said these were operated as a pyramid scheme, starting small and gradually expanded, promising huge investment returns.

He recalled that the individuals involved in the Ponzi scheme in Davao City some time ago had fled to Canada, leaving their investors with huge debts.

“You borrowed money from someone and you have to pay it. Look, do not be offended. To all of you here who understand English, if it is too good to be true, then it is really wrong,” he said.

“Believe me because I am a lawyer and I am your President. Trust me. This is for your own good,” Duterte added.

On Friday, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV called on Kapa leaders to file an impeachment complaint against President Duterte for culpable violation of the Constitution when he prevented them from exercising their religious freedom.

He also said Kapa members can file a class suit against the government and Duterte after the end of his term so they can recover the money they donated.

The Palace shrugged off the opposition senator’s remarks.

Presidential Spokesman Panelo described the opposition senator’s suggestion as “nonsensical and pompous.” With Macon Ramos-Araneta and PNA

Topics: Department of Justice , Alabel-Maasim Credit Cooperative , Kapa Community Ministry International Inc. , National Bureau of Investigations
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