By Armando Fenequito Jr.
DAVAO CITY — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the closure of Kapa Community Ministry International for allegedly collecting illegal investments in the guise of religion.
Duterte bared this after a talk with Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy in the program Give Us This Day that was aired over Sunshine Media Network International early Saturday.
The president said the operation of Kapa was a clear pyramiding scheme, which collected money from its member to give to the pioneering operators of the group.
“When it is too good to be true, it is fraud,” Duterte emphasized.
Duterte said it was impossible for a group to give 30-percent monthly interests to investments because banks here and abroad could only give a maximum of three-percent interest per year.
” Ito kayong mga Pilipino, ilang beses ko na kayong sinabihan na, pag ang – what is being promised to you, is something like heaven, walang bangko dito or maski Bank of America can afford to pay P30, 000 every month for your P100, 000 investment (I told you Filipinos many times, that never believe in this kind of scheme especially if their promise is like giving you heaven, no banks even the Bank of America can afford to give you P30, 000 monthly interest for your P100, 000 investment), ” Duterte explained.
He emphasized that the interests received by its members were just drawn from the money of the newly recruited members who were also drawn into investing in the pyramiding scam.
“Ang problema, just like the Legacy and everything, at the end of the day, yung tao walang makuha, (The problem here, just like the Legacy and other investment firms who were closed, at the end of they, the people cannot get their money) ” he said.
The President said the activity was clearly a case of syndicated estafa, and he immediately ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the different Police Regional Offices in the country to close down Kapa.
Last February, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a cease and desist order after receiving reports about the intensified recruitment and solicitation activities of KAPA through social media.
SEC said Kapa Community founder Joel Apolinario had been charged with syndicated estafa in relation to the investment scheme, but it added that the case had to be dismissed for lack of interest of the victims to pursue the case.
It stated that there was already sufficient evidence to support its allegations that KAPA was engaged in offering for securities for sale to the public through indiscriminate or random offering online via videos, promoting its investment scheme to potential investors without prior registration.
The Commission also took note of its findings that the investment scheme of KAPA had the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme as it promised an exorbitant rate of return with little or no risk at all to investors.