Thousands of Kapa members join Gensan rally against gov’t crackdown

Robie de Guzman   •   June 13, 2019   •   2294

Members of the Kapa Community Ministry International on Thursday gathered in a prayer rally in General Santos City in Mindanao to appeal against the government’s crackdown on the group’s alleged investment scam.

Thousands of the group’s members coming from different areas in Luzon and Visayas arrived at the Sports Complex, Calumpang since Wednesday to join the event.

The rally was held after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an intensified crackdown against the group’s alleged operation of investment scams.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier said criminal complaints will be filed against the officials of Kapa Ministry for operating a fraudulent investment scheme.

READ: SEC: Criminal raps to be filed vs Kapa Ministry\

SEC Chairman Emilio Aquino said Kapa Ministry solicited what it called “donations,” promising returns as high as 30 percent per month without the appropriate secondary license for investment products.

The commission already issued an advisory against Kapa’s activities in March 2017 and a cease-and-desist order in February 2019.

The Court of Appeals (CA) earlier 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.

Amid the crackdown, some of Kapa members belied that their investment scheme was a scam.

Kapa president and co-founder, pastor Joel Apolinario has yet to show up in the group’s gathering in General Santos City.

He, however, sent a message explaining to his members that he chose not to attend Thursday’s rally to avoid any chaos should authorities try to arrest him during the event.

Rene Catubigan, an official lecturer of Kapa Ministry, claimed that Apolinario will meet with Duterte when he arrives in Davao City later Thursday. The president is scheduled to travel to General Santos City on June 13 to attend a public engagement.

Catubigan said Apolinario is likely to personally explain Kapa’s investment scheme and appeal to the president to stop the crackdown against their group.

“Ang mga representative ng Kapa, if not the founder himself, pupunta sa Davao at makikipagkita sa ating mahal na pangulo,” he said.

“Hindi siguro ako ang right person [to say it] pero my speculation is that they will be talking about the legalities of Kapa if there are any changes,” he added.

Kapa Ministry members hope that the president will listen to their plea. (with details from Janice Ingente)

GCTA surrenderer calls on Duterte for ‘mercy’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 12, 2019

“Inamin ko iyong kaso ko na hindi ko naman ginawa, (I admitted to a crime I did not commit,” Lando said.

Lando, not his real name, said he had good behavior during his time in prison. He was released under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law last January 2017.

He also said he did not pay for anything to avail the benefits of the GCTA law.

But after President Rodrigo Duterte’s order, he had no choice but to surrender. However, he calls on the president to give inmates like him a chance.

“Dapat alam din ni presidente ang damdamin ng mahirap. Sana maawa siya doon sa mga taong gusto talagang magbagong buhay, (The president should also consider poor people’s feelings. I hope he shows mercy to those individuals who really want to change their lives),” he said.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) assured that they will release inmates who really deserve to be released.

According to BuCor PIO Chief Sr. Insp. Eusebio Del Rosario Jr., they will provide clearance to those who are really eligible to be released “in accordance with the policy or the law.”

“Kung hindi sila mag-qualify dito o upon the re-computation kung mayroon pa silang natitirang sentensya na kailangang i-serve, itutuloy nila iyon, (If they did not qualify here or upon the re-computation, or they still have remaining sentence they need to serve, they have to continue it)” he said.—AAC (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

Duterte on GCTA issue: ‘I suspect that corruption was present there’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte suspected that there might be corruption in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) regarding the issue on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.

“I suspect that corruption was present there [at the BuCor]. Ibig sabihin, baka iyong iba, baka binili (meaning, some might have offered bribe). That’s why it’s important that we rearrest and re-investigate,” he said during a press briefing on Wednesday (Sept 4).

Duterte called on the released heinous crime convicts to surrender for a recomputation of their GCTA.

“I will give you 15 days liberty provided you make yourself available anytime that you will be called for an investigation to have a recomputation, or if there is an investigation of corruption then you cooperate fully,” he added.

During the Senate hearing on Wednesday, Senate President Senator Vicente Sotto III said there is an intelligence report on a so-called “GCTA for sale” in BuCor.

“Marami raw pera ang umikot, milyones daw (There is a lot of money involved, millions) we have intelligence report. I already shared [it] with Sen. Lacson,” said Sotto.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

Duterte orders freed heinous crime convicts to surrender

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019

Inmates at the Manila City Jail | Courtesy: Photoville International

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the heinous crime convicts who were released through the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law to surrender.

“All of you, released under GCTA, you surrender or have yourself registered under BuCor (Bureau of Corrections),” he said.

During a press conference on Wednesday (Sept 4), the Chief Executive has given them 15 days to surrender. He is also considering a P1 million reward for the re-arrest of each released heinous crime convict who refuses to surrender.

BuCor data shows that 1,914 heinous crime convicts have been released under the GCTA since 2014.

They also include the three convicts in the rape-slay of the Chiong sisters.

According to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, the PNP will track those who will not surrender to the authorities after the 15 days given by the president.

“They are given 15 days to show up and submit for investigation to recompute the GCTA. After the deadline, the PNP will track and arrest those who will not surrender themselves to authorities,” he said.—AAC

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