CEBU

Talisay members gather to pray for Kapa’s return

Photo by Dennes Tabar

AROUND 200 members of Kapa-Community Ministry International Inc. participated in a six-hour “prayer meeting” at the Talisay City Sports Complex on June 20, 2019, Thursday.

Pastor Renee Magdadaro, who organized the event, clarified that what they did was neither a rally nor an event mainly for Kapa but a gathering that was open to all, as stated in their permit.

“Actually, our prayer meeting, which started at 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., is not only (for) Kapa. If you are here and you’ve heard of our prayers, we pray for one another. Kapa is just one of the intentions. We also welcomed our church members who are non-Kapa members,” she said.

According to her, they included in their intentions peace in Mindanao, the encouragement of Kapa founder Joel Apolinario, the protection of President Rodrigo Duterte and the wisdom of mayors so they will be “godly-guided.”

Similar meetings took place simultaneously in Liloan, Compostela, Minglanilla and the City of Naga in Cebu, she said.

Magdadaro, who has been a Kapa member for a year, owns Victorious Nissi Christian Academy Inc., a private school in Barangay Mohon.

She said teachers and 200 students sponsored by Kapa will be affected if Kapa will be permanently closed.

“Hopefully, Kapa can re-operate because this is the source of our strength and ministry. We are praying that Kapa will come back. What will happen to my 200 students sponsored by Kapa ministry? They are discounted because of Kapa ministry. Even the salaries of my teachers are sponsored by Kapa,” she said.

According to her, 200 students in her school enjoy a 40 percent tuition discount because of Kapa.

Because of this, she appealed to authorities to stop going after Kapa, saying it is not a scheme but a blessing.

“We prayed to God for the enlightenment of our government leaders to allow Kapa to operate because since then we are really blessed. Mr. President, if you are listening to us, we are poor. Please allow Kapa as it supports us spiritually, financially and emotionally,” she said.

Hilda Villacrucis, 60, a Kapa member, said her last payout was in May. She has “donated” a total of P1.5 million since November.

She said she believes Kapa can keep its promise to its members.

“On my part, I was already able to receive a blessing in the same amount as I donated. However, what’s hurting now is that the other dreams I have invested in Kapa have become impossible because of what happened,” she said.

To show unity and as a way to encourage founder Apolinario, Magdadaro said a rally is scheduled on Friday, June 21, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Plaza Independencia in Cebu City.

Magdadaro explained that recent developments wouldn’t stop them from praying for the return of Kapa’s operations.

“Ganahan pa mo nga mubalik sa pagtanom og kamote? Kung wala ang Kappa, mag-unsa ta (Do you want to go back to planting sweet potato? Without Kapa, what will happen to us)?” she said.

Magdadaro claims to be the biggest donor to Kapa in Talisay City, saying she had donated “millions,” but she didn’t specify how much.

Meanwhile, Talisay City officials were surprised to learn about Kapa’s prayer meeting inside the sports complex last Thursday.

According to them, the name of Magdadaro’s school was used in the application for the permit to use the gym. That was why they did not expect to find a big tarpaulin with the words “One Voice and One Heart. Ibalik ang (Return) Kapa” on the stage.

Jeaneth Villagonzalo, executive director of the city sports commission, said the school is a frequent user of the gym, especially for its religious programs.

She also clarified that anyone could use the gym for as long as they secured a permit. Since the group had one, there was no problem, she said.

The staff of outgoing Talisay City Mayor Eduardo Gullas admitted that they had no idea the gathering was organized by Kapa.

In a related development, not one official of the religious corporation has showed up at the Compostela Police Station 12 days since still unidentified men allegedly set fire to its office in Barangay Poblacion in the northern town last June 8.

Police Captain Ian Macatangay, town police chief, also said they have yet to open the big vault they recovered from the fire scene since they need a court order to do so.

Kapa’s in-house employees initially claimed that the vault contained a huge amount of money. However, since then, the in-house employees who number 21 have refused to cooperate with authorities.

They were the ones who told police that 10 armed men barged inside the office and robbed them before allegedly setting fire to the office. Aside from taking office supplies, the armed men also took a small vault that the in-house employees claimed contained an estimated P8 million of their members’ donations.

“The 21 in-house employees have refused to help with the investigation. They were the ones who claimed they had been robbed. But when we questioned them, they would not answer,” Macatangay said in Cebuano.

Five Kapa members have gone to the Compostela Police Station and said they would file an estafa complaint against Kapa in court if management didn’t return their “donations.”

They were told they would get their donations back 10 days after the Kapa office was raided by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation 7 and the police last June 10.

“They waited for the 10-day period to lapse. It will lapse on Friday, June 21. We’ll see if they get their money back since that was what they were promised,” Macatangay said in Cebuano.

The police official said the five Kapa members who asked not to be named said more members were willing to file a complaint against Kapa if they didn’t get their money back.

One member reportedly “donated” P600,000, hoping that after one year, the member would receive more than P6 million, as Kapa had promised.

Last April 3, the Securities and Exchange Commission revoked the certificate of corporate registration of Kapa, a religious corporation, for collecting investments from the public in the guise of “donations” with a promise of a “30 percent return per month until forever.” (WBS & AYB, DRT of SuperBalita Cebu, PJB)


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