Kapa investors need to go to court to get money back

KAPA-COMMUNITY Ministry International Inc. (Kapa) officers and promoters are facing criminal charges. But what about the people in Cebu who invested their hard-earned money in the Ponzi scheme? Will they ever get it back?

Rheswi Grace Colina, a counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Cebu Securities, said they can visit the Commission’s office on V. Rama Ave. in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City and ask for assistance.

“Affected investors may submit a letter complaint attached with an affidavit of complaint to SEC Cebu. Our office collates all the complaints and forwards them to the Head Office in Manila so they can take action,” Colina said.

However, investors must file cases at regular courts, while the Commission goes after Kapa.

“The SEC’s jurisdiction is administrative in nature. For the recovery of their investment, they have to file it with the regular courts. The Commission has also worked on the freezing of deposits linked to Kapa to preserve these funds for the benefit of affected investors,” Colina said.

The SEC has been increasing its information campaign to prevent individuals from falling victims to similar scams.

“We also provide assistance to clients who wish to file complaints. Advisories and press releases are regularly released on the official website, www.sec.gov.ph, for the information of all concerned clients. The SEC also plans and implements investor protection programs, information seminars and other similar events to better inform the investing public,” Colina said.

On June 8, 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Kapa to close down as authorities started to zero in on the religious corporation.

Kapa enticed members to make a donation of P10,000 to P2 million, with the promise of 30-percent returns monthly for life.

Kapa founder Joel Apolinario claimed they had five million members. The Kapa investment scam is said to be bigger than the Aman Futures scam, where 15,000 people in the Visayas and Mindanao lost around P12 billion in 2012. (JOB)