President Rodrigo Duterte is not worried about the risk of losing the support of members of the religious group Kapa Community Ministry International Inc. after he ordered its shutdown for alleged involvement in pyramiding schemes, Malacañang said on Thursday.
Thousands of Kapa members on Thursday afternoon joined a prayer rally in General Santos City to appeal Duterte’s shutdown on the group’s investment operations.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, however, downplayed Kapa members’ call for Duterte to reconsider the shutdown.
“Ang naririnig lang natin sa TV, iyong mga nagsasalita, pailan-ilan eh (What we hear on TV, those who have been talking, there are only a few). There are millions ‘di ba, ang miyembro diyan sabi nila (of members),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
“Eh kung makita mo iyong milyon nasa kalsada, iyon ang (If there are millions on the streets then) we can say na they are outraged and they are all against it. Pero kung one, two, three, four lang, hindi naman natin alam iyon (But if it’s one, two, three four only, we don’t know that),” he added.
When asked if there is a chance that Duterte may change his mind and listen to Kapa members, Panelo insisted that the religious group may face charges for large-scale estafa.
“As far as the President is concerned, there’s a continuing crime of swindling or estafa,” Panelo said.
“Na kay Presidente iyan. Pero basta iyan ang line ni (It’s up to the President. But that’s the line of the) President. Kasi you have to look at his position. Ang posisyon niya (His position), as far as he is concerned, there is a continuing crime. Kaya nga pinasarado niya eh (That’s why he ordered its shutdown),” he added.
The Securities and Exchange Commission earlier flagged Kappa for allegedly soliciting investments in the form of donations and at a monthly interest rate of 30 percent.
Kapa founder Pastor Joel Apolinario denied the allegations, insisting that Kapa is a legitimate religious organization. (PNA)