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Rough Cuts | Shifting the blame to the government

Well, we are not the only one who warned the people of Davao City and the rest of the places that can be reached by the circulation of this paper about the danger of investing in a company that, from the very beginning, was already shrouded in procedural frauds.

In our treatise on the “get-rich-quick” schemes specifically the Kapa Community Ministry International , we did not in any manner attack the supposed investment firm and the many similar organizations that have sprouted in this part of the country overnight.

Instead we highlighted on the two known schemes whose operations the Kapa as well as the rest of its kind, seemingly patterned after or innovated from. And these are the Ponzi and the pyramiding schemes that actually started on legal footing but evolved into fraud as the founders became more greedy and covetous for financial and material wealth.

In that article of ours we highlighted who are those likely to get rich quick  — the “investment” firms founders, their executives at its various operating units, and those who put in their money in the earlier stage of the companies’ operation.

We also presented the hard truth that the money “paid in” to the investment organizations by the early investors — or shall we say early “victims,” or “donors” in the case of those who are members of Kapa, are the same monies that are being used to pay the promised interest. These are just being rotated based on the schedule of “pay-outs” committed by the founders and executives.

In addition, we sort of advise potential “investors” that the farther they are down in the line of hierarchy the greater the chances of them being overtaken by actions of government regulators.

And this is exactly what is happening now with the mandate of no less than President Rodrigo Duterte to the police and other law enforcement agencies as well as regulators to shut down operations of all instant investment firms that are alleged to be running fraudulent “get-rich-quick” schemes.

Who then are the ones in tears due to anger over the sudden death of their dreams to be the poor-made-rich by Kapa and other similar business organizations? They are the latter batch of “donors” or investors  — the “Kabus” who are hoping to be the next in line to be “padatu-on.”

Of course, we have seen over television the dejected appearance of Kapa’s founder, a certain Pastor Joel Apolinario, who, even with just a cursory look, appears very apologetic to his member-donors-investors. He claimed sadness for the ministry’s sudden inability to make good its scheduled pay-out because of the government order to stop its operations and the freezing of its assets by the Court of Appeals.

Yes, at any angle of his video shot the Reverend Apolinario looks empathizing with his “donor-investors.” And we assumed that the rest of his group’s officers and leaders are doing the same. But are they really sad of what happened to their organization after the closure order?

Our hunch is that they look sad on the outside but exceedingly happy in the inside. Look, the very act of government authorities to stop Kapa’s operation is also their wall of refuge against their members who are likely to be soon storming them for the return of their “donation” or investment.

After all, they can always claim that they cannot get the money wherever these are deposited, hidden or invested because the court has ordered a freeze of the firm’s assets. They can even claim that they cannot refer to any record as to who are those who put in their hard-earned — or even borrowed — cash because their offices are being padlocked by government authorities.

In other words the founders, officers and leaders of the Kapa organization, and the rest of the alleged fraudulent investment companies ordered to stop operation, are conveniently shifting the blame of its member-investors-donors’ predicament to the government.

Using the power of various social media platforms and the mainstream media, these unscrupulous and shrewd individuals are conveying to their subscribers that if their dreams of getting rich through Kapa and other similar business schemes are about to be shuttered, it is because the present government would rather want them to remain poor and disadvantaged. So, their communication messages now is “Blame the government for your plight, not us. We want to get you out of the rut of poverty but government leaders would not allow it.”

And here is the rub. Kapa leader Apolinario appears unapologetic and even challenging and stubborn. In the same television report he assured his member-donors that Kapa Community Ministry International cannot be stopped from its operation. To buttress his claim he referred to the Constitution guaranteeing freedom in the practice of religion and the separation of the state and religion as well.

Apolinario even sarcastically told reporters that if the authorities insist on closing down Kapa then the Constitution should better be burned.

Bold statements indeed!

But clearly he missed the point. The government is not ordering the stoppage of Kapa to practice whatever religious belief it is espousing. What it ordered stopped is its “get-rich-quick” money generation strategy through bogus investment schemes  taking advantage of the gullibility of many Filipinos who aspire for better life.
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