CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Top officers of an organization alleged to be operating a financial scam in some parts of Mindanao are facing possible arrests after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that appropriate cases have been filed against them.
“(We) moved closer to putting the officers and promoters of KAPA-Community Ministry International (KAPA) behind bars with the filing of criminal charges against the scamming group,” SEC said in a statement Thursday (Jan. 9).
The agency said the Department of Justice (DOJ) already charged KAPA founder and president Joel Apolinario, trustee Margie Danao, and corporate secretary Reyna Apolinario for allegedly violating sections 8 (8.1), 26.1 and 28 of Republic Act 8799 or the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).
Section 26 provides that it shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, in connection with the purchase or sale of any securities to employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud. Meanwhile, Section 28 states that no person shall engage in the business of buying or selling securities in the Philippines as a broker or dealer, or act as a salesman, or an associated person of any broker or dealer unless registered with the SEC.
The DOJ also indicted Marisol Diaz, Adelfa Fernandico, Moises Mopia, and Reniones Catubigan for violation of section 25 of the SRC for allegedly “promoting the investment scam.”
The DOJ further charged Diaz before the Rizal Regional Trial Court (RTC) for violation of section 28. It filed similar information against Mopia and Fernandico with the Quezon City RTC Branch 93.
“The concerned judges, upon finding of sufficient probable cause for the issuance of Warrants of Arrest, shall order the arrest of the indicted officers and promoters of KAPA, in accordance with the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure,” SEC said.
The agency has verified that an arrest warrant was issued by the Quezon City RTC on Dec. 2, 2019, against Fernandico.
SEC said the criminal proceedings stemmed from the complaint it filed on June 18, 2019, against KAPA for the “unauthorized sale or offering for sale or distribution of securities to the general public.”
In a resolution issued on September 25, 2019, the DOJ found probable cause to bring charges against KAPA, affirming the findings of the SEC.
“The commission found KAPA to have enticed the public to invest at least P10,000 in exchange for a 30% monthly return for life, without having to do anything other than invest and wait for the payout,” SEC said.
It added: “The SEC 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.”
The agency said that under section 8 (8.1) of the SRC, securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the Philippines without a registration statement duly filed and approved by the SEC.
SEC initially issued an advisory against KAPA in March 2017. It issued a cease and desist order against the group on February 14, 2019; and ordered the revocation of KAPA’s certificate of incorporation on April 3, 2019.
As of this writing, concerned KAPA officials could not be reached for comment. (davaotoday.com)