KAPA officers, promoters face arrest over criminal charges

MANILA -- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has moved closer to putting the officers and promoters of Kapa-Community Ministry International (KAPA) behind bars with the filing of criminal charges against the scamming group.

In separate information filed with the Bislig City Regional Trial Court Branch 29, the Department of Justice (DOJ) accused KAPA of “willfully, unlawfully and criminally” engaging in the selling or offering for sale or distribution of securities to the general public without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the SEC.

Accordingly, the DOJ charged KAPA founder and president Joel Apolinario, Trustee Margie Danao, and Corporate Secretary Reyna Apolinario of violating Sections 8 (8.1), 26.1 and 28 of Republic Act 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code (SRC).

The DOJ also indicted Marisol Diaz, Adelfa Fernandico, Moises Mopia and Reniones Catubigan for violation of Section 26.1 of the SRC for promoting the investment scam.

The DOJ further charged Diaz before the Rizal Regional Trial Court for violation of Section 28. It filed similar Information against Mopia and Fernandico with the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 93.

The concerned judges, upon finding sufficient probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest, shall order the arrest of the indicted officers and promoters of KAPA, in accordance with the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.

So far, the SEC has verified that a warrant of arrest has been issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court on December 2, 2019 against Fernandico.

“We are committed to see the criminal proceedings against KAPA through to the end,” SEC chairperson Emilio Aquino said. “We will pursue everyone involved in the investment scam that played havoc with the future of our fellow Filipinos, including those who continue to attempt to perpetuate it.”

The criminal proceedings stemmed from the complaint filed by the SEC on June 18, 2019 against KAPA for the unauthorized sale or offering for sale or distribution of securities to the general public.

In a resolution issued on September 25, 2019, the DOJ found probable cause to bring charges against KAPA, affirming the findings of the SEC.

The Commission found KAPA to have enticed the public to invest at least PHP10,000 in exchange for a 30 percent monthly return for life, without having to do anything other than invest and wait for the payout.

The SEC also found KAPA to have employed a Ponzi scheme, an investment program that offers impossibly high returns and pays investors using the money contributed by later investors.

Under Section 8(8.1) of the SRC, securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the Philippines without a registration statement duly filed and approved by the SEC.

Section 26.1 further provides that it shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, in connection with the purchase or sale of any securities to employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud.

Section 28 adds that no person shall engage in the business of buying or selling securities in the Philippines as a broker or dealer, or act as a salesman, or an associated person of any broker or dealer unless registered with the SEC.

Meanwhile, the SEC reiterated its advice for the general public to exercise more caution and discernment as certain supporters and promoters of KAPA peddled false information about the group’s supposed revival.