MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday expressed hope that the victims of the alleged investment scam by the Kapa Community Ministry International will be one step closer to justice with the arrest of its founder Joel Apolinario.
In a press statement, PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa lauded the Police Regional Office in Caraga Region (PRO-13) over the arrest of Apolinario, who has been at-large following the release of several warrants of arrests for large-scale syndicated estafa.
“The special directive came from President Rodrigo Duterte: Arrest Apolinario and his cohorts to vindicate the thousands of members from Visayas and Mindanao who were victimized by Kapa’s massive investment scam,” Gamboa said in a statement. He added that the Caraga cops have been monitoring the whereabouts of the suspect and his armed men since January this year.
Apolinario, founder and leader of the Kapa Community Ministry International and his 23 armed men were arrested on Tuesday, in an isolated island resort in Sitio Dahican, Barangay Handamayan, Lingig, Surigao del Sur. He said the operation is also pursuant to the PNP’s campaign against loose firearms as Apolinario was reportedly carrying “unlicensed high-powered firearms and ammunition for his personal bodyguards.”
PRO 13 director, Brig. Gen. Joselito Esquivel Jr. reported that the operating team was engaged in a firefight against Apolinario and his men during the service of the warrant of arrest. Two armed men of Apolinario were killed while one was reportedly wounded and brought to Bislig City District Hospital.
Authorities also confirmed that numerous high-powered firearms were recovered including various types of rifles, machine gun, carbine, shotgun, caliber 45 pistol, and assorted rounds of ammunition.
Esquivel said government troops are still in the area securing the place of the incident as the Provincial Crime Laboratory Office of the Surigao del Sur police is still accounting and doing an inventory of the pieces of evidence. (PNA)
Photo caption: PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa. (PNA file photo)