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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Kapa founder netted in Surigao raid; 2 killed, 1 hurt

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Two persons were killed while another was hurt in a police operation Tuesday that netted Kapa Community Ministry International founder Joel Apolinario and 23 others in Surigao del Sur, the Philippine National Police in Region 13 said.

Apolinario was arrested after police tracked down the religious group leader and his followers to an isolated resort in Sitio Dahican in Brgy. Handamayan, Lingig, in Surigao del Sur at 7:30 a.m.

Two unidentified suspects were killed while a certain Melecio Siano, one of Apolinario’s men, was brought to the Bislig City District Hospital after an exchange of gunfire between Kapa members and the authorities.

Apolinario is accused of running the biggest investment scam in the country’s history, in which an estimated five million people were duped by Kapa, which promised a 30-percent return on their investments for life. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Apolinario and key Kapa men had invested over P50 billion from the donations of its members over three years.

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President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to shut down the corporation run by Kapa on June 8 last year, and the SEC filed charges of syndicated estafa against Apolinario and key members of the group.

The PNP team recovered from the crime scene 30 M16 rifles, two M4 rifles, one Garand rifle; three 60-caliber machine guns, one 50-caliber sniper rifle, three caliber .22 rifles; one Carbine rifle, one shotgun, two rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers, five caliber .45 pistols, and assorted ammunition.

Personnel of the Surigao Del Sur – Provincial Laboratory Crime Office (PCLO) conducted scene-of-the-crime operations as government troops stood by.

The Bislig Regional Trial Court Branch 29 ordered the arrest of Apolinario, Kapa trustee Margie Danao, corporate secretary Reyna Apolinario, and alleged promoters Marisol Diaz, Adelfa Fernandico, Moises Mopia and Reniones Catubigan on Tuesday.

State prosecutors have filed criminal charges against the Kapa officers for violations of the Securities Regulation Code based on allegations by the corporate regulator.

Prosecutors from the Department of Justice had found the officers sold or offered securities for sale without filing a registration statement with the SEC.

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