By Argyll Geducos
President Duterte warned the public anew about investing with KAPA-Community Ministry International, saying the organization has to be closed immediately for the continuing crime of large-scale estafa.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR. / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Duterte made the statement as thousands of KAPA members hold a prayer rally in another part of General Santos City to call for the President to reconsider his order to shut down KAPA operations.
In a speech in General Santos City, Duterte warned the public about investing with KAPA, saying they make promises which are too good to be true.
"If it is too good to be true, it is really wrong... Don't invest there, it's a scam," he said Thursday evening.
"Ang KAPA is a continuing crime. Until now they continue," he added.
The President then apologized to those who already invested with KAPA, saying the organization has to be closed down.
"Those who have already spent a lot with KAPA, I'm sorry. The operation will be stopped, or shall stop immediately," Duterte said, also issuing a warning to its founder Pastor Joel Apolinario to "watch out."
Speaking before land reform beneficiaries, Duterte also joked that he will beat up those who will pawn their land to invest with KAPA.
The President then said that he wants to implement an anti-investment scam law but said he cannot do anything if Congress will not craft one.
Over the weekend, President Duterte ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to shut down Kapa-Community Ministry International for syndicated estafa, warning those into pyramiding schemes to stop or risk being treated as drug pushers.
"That is pyramiding. When it is good to be true, it is a fraud. Biro mo yung P100,000 mo would earn P30,000 a month? Ni Bangko Sentral natin magbigay tres lang porsyento (Imagine, your P100,000 would earn P30,000 a month? Our Central Bank can only give 3 percent)," he said.
The President then ordered the NBI to immediately put an end to the said investment schemes.
"That is why NBI, sarahan mo na sila at dalhin mo doon sa (close them all and arrest them)... upon my orders," Duterte said.
Duterte then warned people who are into pyramid schemes to stop or risk being treated as drug pushers.
"Do not do it because you might be treated as a drug pusher. Pag hindi talaga ninyo (If you will still continue)... Then I will... You want me to enforce it on you, or you obey the government? Kayo (It's up to you). The choice is yours," he said.
"The path to heaven is paved with... the one is paved with the intentions of the idiots to get the hard-earned money of the people. Let it not be said that I did not warn you. You guys in the pyramiding... Pity your family and your children," he added.
On Thursday, thousands of KAPA members held a prayer vigil to ask the President to reconsider his order to shut down their operations. According to Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, KAPA must first file a court case if it wants to reopen.