The Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) of the Philippines is preparing to file a case against Kapa Community Ministry International, a religious organization which the SEC says is running the largest investment scam in the country right now.
The organization’s alleged investment scheme was put under the national spotlight when President Rodrigo Duterte, during a Facebook live interview with his friend Pastor Apollo Quiboloy on Saturday, ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to shut down the group for allegedly running a pyramid scheme.
“When it is [too] good to be true, it is fraud,” Duterte told Quiboloy in English and Filipino. “Imagine your PHP100,000 (US$1,918) would earn PHP30,000 (US$575.59) a month?”
“These Filipinos, how many times do I have to tell you, when something is being promised to you like heaven, no one, not even the Bank of America can afford to pay you PHP30,000 every month for your PHP100,000.”
Duterte said what Kapa was doing was fraudulent. “That’s why NBI has to close them down and bring them to [jail], upon my orders.”
Emilio Aquino, the SEC’s chief executive officer and chairman, said today that Kapa’s return of investment was unrealistic because it does not have substantial assets. Kapa promises a 30 percent return of investment each month for life, which it calls “love gifts” or “blessings.”
“The financial statements do not show it [Kapa] can deliver except by relying on new investors. We have put a stop to it, otherwise, there will be new victims recruited,” said Aquino.
Aquino did not reveal the total amount Kapa has received from its investors but vowed that they would sue its founder, Pastor Joel Apolinario, and everyone who is guilty of propagating the scheme. The Court of Appeals has already ordered a freeze order on all the properties owned by the religious organization.
Kapa mainly operates in Duterte’s hometown of Davao City and its neighboring areas. It has reportedly spread to other places such as Cebu province.
Aquino said Kapa gained a lot of members through social media. He also warned the public that just because an investment scheme pays its members doesn’t mean its legitimate.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Oscar Albayalde said that the PNP and NBI are already building a case against Kapa.
He was quoted by The Philippine Daily Inquirer saying today: “The PNP and NBI are working on it, and we have already made case build-up. Within the week, there will be a result.”
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra promised that the NBI would arrest members of Kapa soon, Manila Bulletin reported.
Meanwhile, Kapa members posted a Facebook video today insisting that they are purely a religious group and are not running an investment scam. They said they are willing to help Duterte end poverty in the country.