PEDRO (not his real name), a former seaman, is hopeful that he will recover his investment of almost P1 million following the arrest of Kapa-Community Ministry International Inc. founder Joel Apolinario.
Like many others, he had hoped of earning three times as much as his investment. He lost his money when authorities raided Kapa’s office in Compostela town last year.
“I am hoping that with his arrest, my investment will be returned to me. What I invested were my savings when I was still working overseas,” Pedro said.
He was among the Kapa investors who filed a case against Apolinario before the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG 7) last year.
Other investors who want to get their money back should also file complaints to strengthen the criminal case against Kapa and its officers, said Oliver Leonardo, assistant director of the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“Separate yung filing for the recovery of your investment. You can file this pursuant to a particular section of the Securities Regulation Code. If you have suffered from any violation committed by these people representing Kapa, you can do so,” Leonardo told SunStar Cebu on Wednesday, July 22, 2020.
Kapa investors may also file a case for estafa and breach of contract, he added.
Leonardo said court hearings on the cases filed against Kapa and its officers are now expected to push through although there might be some delays because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.
Police Maj. Ronald Alan Tolosa, CIDG 7 deputy chief, said they expect the courts to issue more warrants of arrest against Apolinario and other Kapa officers.
Special task group
The Philippine National Police has created a special task group (STG) to address concerns of the victims and track down other individuals, particularly government officials and police and military personnel, who were involved in the scam.
PNP Chief Archie Gamboa ordered Caraga Police Regional Office Director Joselito Esquivel Jr. to form the STG on Wednesday, a day after Apolinario and 23 others were arrested in Surigao del Sur.
Police served an arrest warrant and search warrant against Apolinario early Tuesday morning, July 21, at a resort in Sitio Dahican in Barangay Handamayan in Lingig town.
A shootout ensued between the police and Apolinario’s followers, killing two men and wounding another.
Apolinario and 23 others were arrested while 49 firearms of various caliber and assorted rounds of ammunition were seized.
Kapa started operations in 2017 in Bislig, Surigao del Sur, enticing its members to invest a minimum of P10,000 in exchange for a 30 percent monthly return for life. It expanded across Mindanao before reaching the Visayas and Luzon.
Charges against Apolinario stemmed from the complaint filed by SEC against Kapa in 2019 for the alleged unauthorized sale or offering for sale or distribution of securities to the general public.
The SEC revoked Kapa’s certificate of registration and secured over P100 million of its assets based on the asset freeze order issued by the Court of Appeals.
Following the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to close all Kapa offices, the National Bureau of Investigation raided at least 13 Kapa offices from various parts of the country in 2019.
All Kapa offices have remained closed while Apolinario and other officers went into hiding after charges were filed against them.
Leonardo said Apolinario, trustee Margie Danao and corporate secretary Reyna Apolinario were charged with violating Sections 8(8.1), 26.1 and 28 of Republic Act No. 8799, or the Securities Regulations Code, before the Bislig City Regional Trial Court Branch 29.
The same charges were filed against Marisol Diaz, Adelfa Fernandico, Moises Mopia and Reniones Catubig.
The DOJ also charged Diaz before the Rizal Regional Trial Court for violation of Section 28 and filed a similar information against Mopia and Fernandico before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 93. (WBS, AYB, JKV, SunStar Philippines)