THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) warned the public against falling for fake news about the supposed dismissal of fraud charges against Kapa-Community Ministry International (Kapa).
The agency stressed, in an advisory issued on May 21, 2020, that the criminal cases filed against Kapa for violations of Republic Act No. 8799 or The Securities Regulation Code, remain active.
“The SEC underscored that Kapa founder and president Joel Apolinario, along with the group’s other officers, only managed to secure conditional and temporary liberty after posting bail,” it read.
This, as Kapa supporters and promoters circulated videos featuring a purported telephone interview with Apolinario, falsely claiming that all cases against Kapa have been dismissed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The criminal proceedings stemmed from the complaint filed by the SEC on June 18, 2019, after finding Kapa to have enticed the public to invest at least P10,000 in exchange for a 30 percent monthly return for life, without having to do anything other than invest and wait for the payout.
Prosecutors at the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged Apolinario, together with Kapa trustee Margie Danao and corporate secretary Reyna Apolinario, before the Bislig City Regional Trial Court Branch 29 with violating Sections 8 (8.1), 26.1 and 28 of the Securities Regulation Code.
The DOJ also indicted Marisol Diaz, Adelfa Fernandico, Moises Mopia and Reniones Catubigan for violation of Section 26.1 of the Securities Regulation Code for promoting the investment scam.
The DOJ further charged Diaz before the Antipolo Regional Trial Court for violation of Section 28 of the Securities Regulation Code. It filed similar charges against Mopia and Fernandico with the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 93.
On Feb. 19 and 27, 2020, Apolinario and his wife, as well as Catubigan surrendered and posted bail for their temporary liberty while facing the investment fraud charges filed by the DOJ.
Aside from the fraud charges initiated by the SEC, Apolinario is facing charges for the non-bailable offense of syndicated estafa before the Cagayan de Oro City Regional Trial Court Branch 21.
The court on Feb. 18, issued a warrant of arrest against Apolinario, along with Junnie Apolinario, Maria Pella Sevilla, Cristobal Barabad, Nonita Urbano, Nelia Nino, Jouelyn Del Castillo, Joji Jusay and Albert Buhangbuhang.
The SEC also issued statements refuting the revival of Kapa’s registration under a new name. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas likewise debunked claims that it approved of Kapa’s investment scheme.
Kapa, through its counsel on record, would disclaim authorizing the publication of a myriad of posts on social media and note that only Catubigan and Ronnie Garay may speak on its behalf.
Amid the rampant misinformation and disinformation, the SEC reiterated its advice for the public to exercise caution when presented with reports about Kapa to avoid falling into the trap of what could be one of the country’s most notorious scammers. (JOB with PR)