THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) urged the public to take "necessary precaution" in dealing with the Munificence Ministry and to "stop investing" in this kind of investment activity.
According to SEC, the Munificence Ministry, representing itself as a non-profit organization and operating under Interdenominational Evangelical Church Ministries Inc. with activities in Mindanao, particularly in the cities of General Santos and Tagum, is enticing the public through social media to invest by offering generous interest income.
Based on the public posts of Munificence Ministry, SEC said it represents that it is registered with the commission under SEC Registration Number CN201328348 and it offers investment to the public with "45 percent payout, 45 percent lock-in 4 months."
"The public is hereby informed that SEC Registration Number CN201328348 belongs to Interdenominational Evangelical Church Ministries Inc., a religious non-stock corporation registered with the commission as a religious organization. Munificence Ministry, on the other hand, is not registered with the commission as a corporation or partnership," the SEC stated.
It also emphasized that both Interdenominational Evangelical Church Ministries Inc. as a religious organization and Munificence Ministry, which operates under the former, are "not authorized to solicit investments from the public and any application for registration to solicit investments shall not be allowed by the Commission under the circumstance."
According to Section 8.1 of the Securities Regulation Code (SRC), securities, such as investment contracts, shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the Philippines unless registered with the Commission.
Moreover, Section 28 of the SRC prohibits any person from engaging in the buying or selling of securities in the Philippines as a broker, dealer, salesman or associated person of a broker or dealer unless registered as such with the Commission.
"Accordingly, those who invite or recruit other people to join or invest in this venture or offer investment contracts or securities to the public may be held criminally liable or accordingly sanctioned or penalize in accordance with the Supreme Court decision in the case of SEC vs Oudine Santos," SEC said.
The commission encouraged those who have invested money or have been invited to invest in Munificence Ministry to report this matter to the commission's head office or extension offices.
They may also seek assistance from the SEC regional and/or provincial offices located along corner 14th and Tomasaco del Lara Street, Cagayan de Oro City or at SDC Building, Purok 13, Maa Road, Maa, Davao City.