SEC sees progress in cases vs. KAPA after founder’s arrest

SEC sees progress in cases vs. KAPA after founder’s arrest

MANILA – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking forward to the progress of cases, now pending in various courts, against the Kapa-Community Ministry International (KAPA)  following the arrest of founder Joel Apolinario for syndicated estafa.

“With the mastermind already behind bars, we are positive about the progress and resolution of the criminal cases we have initiated to bring KAPA to justice,” SEC Chairperson Emilio Aquino said in a statement Friday.

Aquino said the commission stands committed to protecting the public from predatory and fraudulent investment schemes, especially during the pandemic.

“It will be persistent in pursuing the perpetrators,” he added.

The combined forces of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, and Philippine Coast Guard arrested Apolinario in a secluded resort in Lingig, Surigao del Sur at about 7:30 a.m. on July 21, as announced by the Police Regional Office (PRO) 13 (Caraga).

The law enforcers arrested 25 others during the operation, where an encounter with the armed men of Apolinario ensued.

The gunfight killed two of the KAPA founder’s men and another was seriously wounded.

Apolinario and the 25 will face charges for violating the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition, the law on illegal possession of explosives; and Articles 147 (illegal association) and 148 (direct assault) of the Revised Penal Code, according to PRO-13.

Aside from syndicated estafa, Apolinario, along with other officers and promoters of KAPA, faces criminal charges before the regional trial courts in Bislig City, Quezon City, and Antipolo for various violations of Republic Act 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code (SRC).

The Bislig City Regional Trial Court Branch 29 earlier issued warrants of arrest against Apolinario, together with KAPA corporate secretary Reyna Apolinario, trustee Margie Danao, and promoters Reniones Catubigan, Marisol Diaz, Adelfa Fernandico, and Moises Mopia.

In separate information, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has accused KAPA of “willfully, unlawfully and criminally” engaging in the selling or offering for sale or distribution of securities in the Philippines without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the SEC.

The DOJ charged KAPA, Apolinario, his wife, and Danao of violating Sections 8(8.1), 26.1, and 28 of the SRC.

It also indicted Diaz, Fernandico, Mopia, and Catubigan for violation of Section 26.1 of the SRC for promoting the investment scam.

The DOJ further charged Diaz before the Antipolo Regional Trial Court for violation of Section 28.

It filed similar information against Mopia and Fernandico with the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 93, which then issued warrants of arrest against the respondents on Dec. 2, 2019.

The criminal proceedings stemmed from the complaint filed by the SEC on June 18, 2019 against KAPA, after finding the group to have allegedly enticed the public to invest at least PHP10,000 in exchange for a 30 percent monthly return for life, without having to do anything other than invest and wait for the payout.

The commission also found KAPA to have employed a Ponzi scheme, an investment program that offers impossibly high returns and pays investors using the money contributed by later investors.

In a resolution issued on Sept. 25, 2019, the DOJ found probable cause to bring charges against KAPA. (PR)

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