FOR guesting Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte in his special segment "Give Us This Day", Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy is getting the flak from characters who are either behind Kapa Community Ministry International or are investors of Kapa. Reason: During the internationally televised program, the Chief Executive issued a direct order to the National Bureau of Investigation and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police to Immediately stop the operations of Kapa and file appropriate charges against those behind Kapa. Duterte also ordered other similar outfits operating the same way as Kapa. He described their operations as “syndicated estafa”.
Not a few issued a statement of concern on the impact of the President’s order on those who invested money on the get-rich-quick scam while others defended it claiming that it is legitimate and cited that even in the United States of America, the scheme similar to Kapa is allowed.
That claim is, of course, is a blatant lie. The last time a Ponzi pyramiding scheme collapsed and victimized thousands of naive investors, the prime mover, Bernard L. Madoff was ordered arrested, charged and was sentenced to 150 years, a maximum life sentenced, on account of the gravity of the offense. Billions of dollars were placed on Bernard Madoff Investment Securities which later crashed when it ran short of necessary money placements to sustain what is equivalent to Kapa’s “payout”.
The order of the President is merely to cut short the lifespan of Kapa and prevent others from falling victims to the scheme. Like in Madoff’s caper, only the early investors made a windfall. Madoff himself made billions out of his seed money of $5,000.00! When it collapsed, the victims surfaced prompting state authorities to hunt him.
Madoff’s multi-billion fraudulent operations started to crack during economic crises hit the US right in Wall Street, the US financial capital. The value of derivatives crumbled and banks refused to lend money to each other. Investors wary of the worst things to come started withdrawing investment placements and these include Maddof’s investors. In the beginning, he was able to pay out claims by just withdrawing money from his Chase Manhattan Bank. He pretended not to be disturbed by the growing number of refunds. When his multi-billion deposits in Chase was about to be depleted he repatriated millions of dollars from his offshore deposits in London.
The collapse of Maddof’s empire was scandalous as it was tragic. Toward the end of the rope, Bernard Madoff who at one time became Chairman of NASDAQ, called his two sons to confess that their so-called investment enterprise was all along a Ponzi pyramidal scheme. His two sons went straight to the authorities to report their father’s illegal investment operations. One of his sons later committed suicide while the other of cancer. Madoff was eventually sent to jail to suffer a term of 150 years and was made to restitute $175-billion..All his assets, some of these were later discovered not only in London but also in Canada, were garnished and liquidated and the proceeds equitably divided into those who had placements with Maddofs firm.
In the aftermath investigation later revealed dozens of individuals personally close to Madoff were discovered to be in cahoots with each other creating a huge pyramid and layers of individuals and so-called investment firms that are involved in the scam.
The pyramiding racket, however, is not new in the Philippines but the memory of Filipinos are very short. The biggest operation was that of Legacy which took Davao by the storm and Amara scam in Lanao and Zamboanga provinces. Because these were something shady, those who were inveigled to place their money on Legacy kept mum about it. When its existence can no longer be sustained with the required amount of money to keep it going, the payout stopped. Victims of the scam kept their misery to themselves but it was later known that police and military men, teachers, judges, business executives, politicians and property owners were among those who lost a fortune. The brain behind Legacy was not incarcerated as he died even before the trial began.
In Davao, following Duterte’s order to stop the operations of Kapa, characters behind its operation particularly its leader, a certain Pastor Joel Apolinario, retaliated in defiance by calling his members to assemble in Davao City to cripple traffic to protest the President’s order. They even issued a threat that the Dutertes will lose their support come 2022. The gall.