CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – If Pastor Apollo Quiboloy declares himself the appointed son of God, then Kabos Padatoon (Kapa) Community Ministry International founder Pastor Joel Apolinario claims to be the modern Moses.
Apolinario fashions himself as the modern Moses – a liberator of the people from the bondage of financial debts and spiritual burdens. Its members believe so too, even as the government calls Kapa the worst investment scam in recent history.
Moses was a prophet according to the Hebrew Bible and the liberator of the Israelites from the bondage of slavery in Egypt in the Old Testament.
Although Kapa considers itself as a church, it fails to qualify so as there are member-donors who belong to different religions.
On Thursday, June 13, 50,000 member-donors called on President Rodrigo Duterte to allow Kapa to continue operations, after it was closed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (EXPLAINER: How Kapa Ministry took advantage of investors)
But the call fell on deaf ears as the Department of Justice put Apolinario and 14 other Kapa officials on immigration lookout.
Monaliza Tolang, a Department of Education district supervisor in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, says Apolinario is a modern Moses able to unify its members.
The “love donations” offer 30% return every month with compounded interest if the donation is left to “sleep.” The minimum donation is at P5,000.
Tolang and Apolinario both hail from Bislig City where Kapa started its operations 3 years ago.
“Apolinario is the modern Moses, he is able to unite Muslims, Christians through Kapa,” Tolang said.
Tolang added that the love donations they give also help the poor in Kapa’s projects and programs.
For Tolang, Apolinario is the Moses who leads them and Kapa members are the Israelites persecuted by the government for their love donations that returns hefty monthly profits.
Genevieve Longakit, an Adventist based in General Santos City, was quick to defend Kapa’s scheme as she claimed it had helped them through their love donations.
“What we know is that he has businesses like fleets of boats for fishing, agriculture, that’s where the interest of our donation came from,” Longakit said.
Longakit is not the lone investor from her family. Her cousins are members too.
They said that Kapa, from plain sight, was able to deliver its promise of returns of 30% every month.
“There are those whose payout reaches P1.5 million, so if they can get their money that big, then Kapa is working,” Longakit said.
“This is not a pyramiding scheme, not one member have filed a complaint. If it collapses, then there is nothing we can do. What we have given is a love donation,” Longakit added.
Thursday’s event was filled with testimonials of “return of investment” by members who benefitted from the controversial church.
From sending their kids to schools, to medical emergency, and the grand promise of lifting them out of poverty, all of these are covered. But many of them are clueless on where the money they earn from their love donations come from.
An elderly man who testified on stage shared how his meager P10,000-donation in 2018 was able to sustain his wife in the intensive care unit (ICU) for 45 days.
“My brothers and sisters, I came here to tell you how the goodness of Apolinario and Kapa was able to sustain my wife in the ICU for 45 days,” the man said.
Teary eyed, he shared how the interest from his donation was able to purchase medicines for his wife.
“In the 45 days that we were in the ICU, 7 patients died, my wife lies there, I was able to provide for her medicine because of KAPA. Surely there is goodness in there,” the man said.
Most of members attest to the “ability” of Kapa to deliver the promised wealth, but when asked if a fishing vessel or rice paddies can sustain the 30% promised return, no one could give a definite answer.
Several members also tried to explain where the interest of their money came from. “Pastor Apolinario also does foreign exchange, he has so many investments and businesses that is more than enough to cover their interest income,” they said.
Many of them are sure that they have given a donation and not an investment.
But many members themselves are recruiters for more donors, as they testify for the payouts they receive.
At the rally, tarpaulins that said they are not victims abounded – that they were happy to help other poor people earn money through their donations.
‘Moses, our leader’
Apolinario himself would mouth Bible verses when asked how did he come up with mathematical computations that would sustain the 30% interest.
“It is even bigger than 30%,” he said.
“There’s nobody saying it is 30%. There is no such thing as 30%. They are saying that these became an investment, like before we have harvesting of rice for P38 per kilo while in the market, it is P50 to P60 per kilo. They were able to save P20 and if you add that to their income, then that is more than 30%,” Apolinario said.
Asked why he was doing these, Apolinario said that part of the ministry was to fight evil and that “poverty is the kingdom of the devil.”
“There are many crimes that happen due to poverty,” Apolinario said.
Authorities have asked members to file a case against Kapa and its founder Apolinario but none have come forward so far. – Rappler.com