By Angelica Ballesteros/ Manila Times
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed charges against officials of Kapa Community Ministry International Inc. for violating the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).
In a statement yesterday, the SEC said it filed before the Department of Justice a criminal complaint against Kapa pastor and founder Joel Apolinario, his wife and the entity’s corporate secretary Reyna Apolinario, trustee Margie Danao, as well as Marisol Diaz, Adelfa Fernandico, Moises Mopia, Catherine Evangelista and Rene Catubigan for promoting an investment scam.
“(The SEC) will name more respondents as it identifies other persons who have participated in the unlawful public offering and/or selling of securities by Kapa,” the commission said.
Some members of the beleaguered religious group also yesterday tapped the legal services of former Metro Rail Transit general manager Al Vitangcol to ensure that their rights are not trampled upon.
Vitangcol was formally introduced to the media by Kapa convenor Danny Mangahas in a news conference in Quezon City.
“They took me as lawyer of Ahon sa Kahirapan, an organisation of some members of Kapa. I want to clarify that I do not represent Kapa but only some of its members,” Vitangcol said.
“It is difficult to reconcile the law of religion and the law of men. The vision and mission of Kapa is based on Matthew chapter 25 where the nature of giving or donating is explained as an act to help others. That when you give, you also receive, you receive blessings, and that you receive a thousand fold,” he added.
“Meanwhile, the law of men is based on records,” he said.
Vitangcol showed a sample “deed of donation” and “certificate of membership” showing the details about the member and his donation.
“Nowhere in the deed of donation (showed) that Kapa is promising a 30% interest. So, it could not be considered an investment with fixed interest. It is not a scam,” he said.
Kapa lawyers, according to Vitangcol, committed a blunder when after the issuance of a cease-and-desist order, they went to the Regional Trial Court instead of going to the Court of Appeals (CA).
“The CA is the right venue to ask for the lifting of a cease-and-desist order,” he said.
On an order from the Department of the Interior and Local Government for the closure of Kapa offices, Vitangcol said there should be due process.
Meanwhile,Mangahas called on senators-elect Ronald dela Rosa, Maria Imelda “Imee” Marcos and Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to help them by telling President Rodrigo Duterte of their good intention to uplift millions of poor Filipinos.
Kapa said it had improved the lives of five million of its members nationwide.
Earlier this month, the appellate court ordered the freezing of Kapa’s bank accounts upon a request of the SEC and the Anti-Money Laundering Council that secured at least P100mn worth of assets, including a helicopter and luxury vehicles that were believed to be acquired through the investment scam.
The SEC said the petition to freeze Kapa’s assets was aimed at protecting investors and hamper the entity from continuing to operate illegally.
This stemmed from an alleged unauthorised solicitation of investments from the public and promising 30% higher returns forever and with little risks.
The SEC earlier said Kapa would need P15bn as monthly payout assuming its alleged 5mn members shelled out a minimum
P10,000 donations each, which it described as “unrealistic and mathematically unsustainable” given that the entity “barely made P1mn” profit last year. Kapa was registered with the SEC as a non-stock corporation, which means it was not authorised to solicit investments from the public.
The SEC also earlier ordered this year a cease and desist order against Kapa and its affiliates as well as the revocation of its certificate of incorporation but the entity defied the orders and still continued with its operations.
President Duterte on June 7 ordered the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police to shut Kapa down.
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