The previous Thursday, June 13, 2019, there were two big separate events that happened in General Santos City. First was the so-called prayer rally of KAPA (Kabus Padatuon) Ministry International Inc. led by its founder Pastor Joel Apolinario and second was the distribution of land ownership certificates to agrarian reform beneficiaries led by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The so-called prayer rally was held in Pedro Acharon Sports Complex in Barangay Calumpang while the distribution of certificate of titles was held at Lagao gymnasium. The PNP personnel assigned in General Santos City were very busy securing the peace and order of the two separate events on that same day.
Before noontime, there were radio interviews already with KAPA officials saying that there was a settlement already with President Duterte as regards to his earlier order to shut down the operation of the said organization. There was information circulated that Senators-elect Bong Go and Ronald “Bato” de La Rosa facilitated the settlement.
In fact, Apolinario himself in a phone patch radio interview said that President Duterte wanted to meet him in Davao City to discuss the controversy. He gave hints to his followers that everything was all right.
While the so called prayer rally was going on with the thousands of KAPA supporters, Pastor Apolinario arrived in the area aboard a helicopter. He dramatically climbed onto the stage, an entrance his supporters wanted him to be seen, to address a mammoth crowd of supporters.
At past 4 o’clock in that afternoon, he energetically announced that Duterte was already giving them the approval to continue its (KAPA’s) operation. He said the president changed his heart in favor of KAPA. Such information drew applause and cheers from the crowd.
In a loud voice using a very clear sound system he chanted, “victory shout” and “I love KAPA.” He also repeatedly praised President Duterte and his daughter Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio. He ended his speech by quoting a verse in the bible.
He boarded back his brand-new chopper and left the area with his supporters full of happiness. Every member rejoiced believing that everything was already fine.
Though, just few minutes thereafter or at past 5 o’clock in that very same afternoon, such rejoicing was unexpectedly cut short upon hearing the speech of President Duterte in a separate event that totally countered every word uttered by Apolinario. He reiterated his order to shut down KAPA by saying, “Those who have already spent a lot of money on KAPA, I’m sorry. The operation will stop or shall stop immediately.”
Duterte emphasized that those who will continue the operation of KAPA will be arrested without bail. “All of you who are in KAPA, in case your names will appear in the papers, watch out because you will be arrested without bail,” he said.
Duterete stated it is impossible for Kapa to return 30 percent per month of the money invested by its member-donor. He pointed out that all banks, even the Central Bank and the Bank of America, can only return 3 to 4 percent per annum.
Duterte narrated his experience when he was still a prosecutor in Davao City when he investigated investment scams like that of KAPA. Hence, he stood firmly on his earlier order to shut down KAPA, saying it was engaged in a fraudulent pyramiding scheme that pays off old investors with money collected from new investors. Such scheme cannot be sustained and it will eventually collapse.
Duterte stated, “You have to listen to me. I am a lawyer and I am your President…Do not ever get into KAPA. Do not be offended. If it is too good to be true, it must be fraud.”
Duterte even lambasted Apolinario for doing a pyramiding or Ponzi scheme. “Pastor ka unya mangilad ka, bantay ka lang,” Duterte forcefully warned Apolinario in vernacular.
Duterte’s forceful warning against KAPA is a great slap on the face of Apolinario who misled his supporters into believing that everything was already fine. His act of name-dropping Duterte with his fabricated claims will lead to his own downfall.
A popular Cebuano saying goes, “ nadagma sa kaugalingong kiat.”