GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – Presidential aspirant Manny Pacquiao has practically made it a campaign promise that if he wins the 2022 presidential race he would return the money of those who invested in Kapa, a Ponzi scheme that was ordered shut by President Rodrigo Duterte in June, 2019.
In a press conference here on Thursday, December 2, Pacquiao said he would give back what the people invested based on the amount on their investment certificate, but without the interest.
Asked if he would be using his own money, Pacquiao said “Yes, kasama yung hi-nold ng gobyerno.” (Yes, including the money withheld by the government.)
Pacquiao did not say how he intended to return the money bilked from thousands of investors. He added though that he already asked for a database of those who invested with Kapa.
Kapa (Kapa Community Ministry International) has been tagged as one of the Philippines’ biggest investment scams that drew investors from all over the country. The Ponzi scheme promised returns of 30% monthly of their investment, which they called “love gift.”
Before its closure, Kapa claimed a membership of close to three million.
Kapa founder Joel Apolinario, a self-declared pastor, has been in jail since July 2019 over allegations of syndicated estafa, a non-bailable offense.
Apolinario is also senatorial aspirant, having filed his certificate of candidacy for the 2022 national elections.
In their campaign, Apolinario’s political supporters claimed they were allied with Pacquiao in his advocacy to help the poor.
During a recent gathering here of the Word for Everyone Ministries International, Pacquiao insinuated that Duterte erred in closing down Kapa. “(Ang pagpapasara nga Kapa) dapat pinagiisipan din, dapat binigyan nga tatlong buwan o two months bago pinasara,” Pacquiao said his hand gesturing to his temple that sent his audience applauding.
(The government should have been more deliberate before closing Kapa. It should have taken three to two months prior to being shut.)
The world-famous boxing icon turned presidential aspirant also threw jabs at Apollo Quiboloy, another self-proclaimed leader of a religious sect and spiritual adviser of Duterte.
Quiboloy, founder of a church called Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC), is facing sexual trafficking charges in the US.
“Ang problema kay presidente, naminaw siya kay Quiboloy. Naminaw siya kay Quiboloy kay si Quiboloy nawadan na ug income,” said Pacquiao sending the audience to cheer wildly.
(The problem with President Duterte is listened to Quiboloy. He listened to Quiboloy who now has no income.)
In ordering the closure of Kapa last year, the President said he has been telling people that “when it is too good to be true, it is fraud.”
Duterte then said he merely enforced the stand of the government because these investment schemes “are into syndicated estafa.” – Rappler.com
Rommel Rebollido is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.