Kapa ‘donor’ files petition to seek P3-B in damages from government

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 27, 2019   •   3261

Kapa Community Ministry International ‘donor’, Rhema International Livelihood Foundation Inc. has filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) to seek P3 billion compensatory damages from the government.

Rhema filed the petition on June 21 which sought for a status quo against the SEC’s order to revoke KAPA’s registration as a non-stock corporation.

The P3 billion compensation from President Duterte and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Emilio Aquino is for ”destroying” its investment program Cirfund.

Rhema also asked the SC to allow Kapa to continue its religious activities.

“Petitioners are members of Rhema Foundation or Cirfund (and) were able to donate to KAPA ministry being a religious organization because we believe in the word of God, that Our God Jehovah will bless us and that He will open the windows of heaven to pour out blessings until there is no room for it. We believe that the more we give, the more we are blessed,” as stated in the petition.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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SC junks petition vs PH withdrawal from ICC

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (March 16) unanimously junked petitions against the Philippines ‘ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The high court said the issue of the country’s withdrawal from the ICC  has been considered moot as the withdrawal has already taken effect on March 17, 2019.

“In a unanimous decision penned by Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, the Supreme Court dismissed the Petition questioning the unilateral withdrawal for being moot and academic,” the SC said in a briefer released on Tuesday (March 16).

The statement released by the SC public information office says the decision acknowledged that the President, as the primary architect of foreign policy, is subject to the Constitution and existing statute.

Therefore, the power of the President to withdraw unilaterally can be limited by the conditions for concurrence by the Senate or when there is an existing law that authorizes the negotiation of a treaty or international agreement or when there is a statute that implements an existing treaty,” it added.

Two petitions were filed against President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to withdraw from the ICC, stating the decision still requires concurrence from two-thirds of the members of the Senate.

“The Court also noted that the judiciary has enough powers to protect human rights contrary to speculations raised by the petitioners,” the briefer reads.

Duterte made the announcement in March 2018, after the ICC announced it will conduct a preliminary investigation on the government’s war on drugs. -AAC

Beware of false claims: BSP denies approving KAPA investment scheme

Robie de Guzman   •   August 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Wednesday denied claims it has approved the investment scheme of Kapa-Community Ministry International, Inc. (KAPA).

“The BSP advises the public that it has not released any statement or any issuance concerning the Kapa-Community Ministry International, Inc. (KAPA) or any of its affiliates,” the central bank said in a statement.

It also stressed that KAPA is not a BSP-supervised entity.

“This clarification is being issued in view of reports, particularly, on social media, falsely claiming that the BSP has issued a statement purportedly approving KAPA’s investment scheme or questioning delays on its approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),” the BSP said.

The SEC earlier renewed its warning and urged the public to exercise caution and discernment amid false claims allegedly made by KAPA on social media about securing necessary licenses to resume its operations.

READ: SEC warns public against KAPA’s false claims

KAPA also claimed to have filed an application for a secondary license to sell and offer for sale securities.

“SEC has already issued a cease and desist order against KAPA in February 2019 and an order of revocation of its certification of incorporation in April 2019 after KAPA was found to have been soliciting investments from the public without the necessary license, and that its investment scheme qualifies as a fraud and a Ponzi scheme,” the central bank said.

SEC records show that KAPA registered as an independent religious organization in March 2017 indicating its headquarters in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur.

Under its scheme, KAPA enticed the public to “donate” P10,000 in exchange for a 30% monthly “blessing” or “love gift” for life, without having to do anything other than shell out money and wait for the promised payout.

But based on the SEC’s investigation, KAPA promised its members billions of pesos in returns but its assets cannot back up such claims.

The SEC previously issued an advisory against Kapa for unauthorized soliciting of investments.   

Section 8 of Republic Act No. 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code, provides that “securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the Philippines, without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the Commission.”

Section 26 of the Code further prohibits fraudulent transactions, including Ponzi schemes where investors are lured with impossibly high returns and paid using money contributed by other investors

Section 28 further states 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.

In light of this, the SEC said those acting as salesman, broker or agent may be prosecuted and held criminally liable. They may also face a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both, pursuant to Section 73 of the Securities Regulation Code.

Last June, the SEC filed criminal complaints against KAPA, its founder and other officials involved in the scheme.

In the same month, the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered the freezing of several bank accounts and other assets linked to Kapa upon the petition of the SEC and the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

SEC warns public against KAPA’s false claims

Robie de Guzman   •   August 28, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Securities and Exchange Commission is urging the public to exercise more caution and discernment amid disinformation campaigns being launched by investment scammers.

In a statement, the SEC particularly noted the false claims by Kapa-Community Ministry International (KAPA) on social media. Supposedly, the group was poised to secure the necessary licenses to resume its operations.

The commission said that recently, KAPA falsely claimed that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released a statement purportedly approving its investment scheme and questioning delays on the part of the SEC.

The Central Bank has refuted such claim in a statement.

KAPA also falsely claimed that it already filed with the SEC an application for a secondary license to sell and offer for sale securities to the public.

But the commission said it has not received any application for a secondary license from KAPA, as verified by the SEC Company Registration and Monitoring Department (CRMD).

“Besides, KAPA does not have a juridical personality to make such application,” it said.

On April 3, the SEC revoked KAPA’s certificate of incorporation for serious misrepresentation of what it could do or was doing to the great prejudice of or damage to the general public.

“KAPA, formerly registered with the SEC as a nonstock corporation, had solicited investments from the public without securing a secondary license first. Worse, the group had employed a Ponzi scheme,” the commission said.

Under its scheme, the SEC said KAPA enticed the public to “donate” P10,000 in exchange for a 30% monthly “blessing” or “love gift” for life, without having to do anything other than shell out money and wait for the promised payout.

Section 8 of Republic Act No. 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code, provides that “securities shall not be sold or offered for sale or distribution within the Philippines, without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the Commission.”

Section 26 of the same Code further prohibits fraudulent transactions, including Ponzi schemes where investors are lured with impossibly high returns and paid using money contributed by other investors

Section 28 further states 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.

In this light, the SEC said that those acting as salesman, broker or agent may be prosecuted and held criminally liable. They may also face a maximum fine of P5 million or imprisonment of 21 years or both, under the Securities Regulation Code.

On June 18, the commission filed a criminal complaint against KAPA, its founder and president Joel A. Apolinario, trustee Margie A. Danao, corporate secretary Reyna L. Apolinario and other promoters of the investment scam.

“We enjoin the investing public to be more discerning with and critical of any promises and persuasions made by fraudsters,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.

“When presented an investment opportunity, take time to verify the legitimacy of the company, especially their authority to solicit investments from the public, and to understand how the promised returns will be generated and delivered.”

The commission advised those who have invested money in KAPA to file complaints with the SEC Enforcement and Investor Protection Department at Secretariat Building, PICC Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City with telephone numbers (02) 818-6337 and (02) 818-5324.

Affected investors may also visit the SEC Davao City Extension Office at SDC Building, Purok 13, Maa Road, Maa, Davao City; call (082) 298-2170 and (082) 298- 1893; or email kjpestares@sec.gov.ph. In Cagayan de Oro City, they may visit the Commission at SEC Building, corner 14th and Tomasco Del Lara Street; call (088) 857-4325 and (088) 857-7225; or email rvegypto@sec.gov.ph.

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