BUTUAN City- Investors who are now slowly forming a coalition among victims of investment scams based here in Mindanao like KAPA or Kabus Padatoon (Enrich the Poor) requested both the House and Senate to conduct investigation of what they described as the biggest PONZI scam ever victimizing thousands of people mostly poor, stashed away an estimated P1-B people’s money
Aside from locals who were victimized, huge amounts of investment money amounting to millions of pesos also came from OFWs who sent money to their relatives here in Caraga region and some parts of Mindanao.
All that money is gone, all lost now.
Mrs. Lucille C. Trinidad, a Certified Public Accountant and graduating College of Law student, with twenty other victimized investors, forming a core group of the coalition of victims told lionhearts.TV in mobile phone interview while return of the investors money is their motivation, what they actually wanted now is for the Senate and Congress to conduct impartial investigation so that scams like KAPA and other investment scams will never happen again in the future.
Trinidad was not actually the victim but her parents and siblings who invested heavily on KAPA, Regin, Jogle and FRX, an investment scheme based here in Caraga region and in Tagum City who gives more than 30% interests per month of money invested.
“ My parents and siblings who are rice and corn traders from Bukidnon, invested a total of P20M, they never told me they invested not only in KAPA but in various investment schemes turned scam.In fact, they went to as far as Tagum and Caraga cities just only to invest” Trinidad added.
Trinidad claimed the other twenty victims she is now helping to organize were ordinary people, small traders, some vendors in public markets who lost nearly P10M collectively.
“One member of ours is a trisikad driver who sold his trisikad and the proceeds of P7,000, he invested it with KAPA. Some of the victims I am now helping organized, obtained loans from loan sharks still paying until now. Nawala yung pera nila, may utang pa sila hanggang ngayon”, Trinidad added.
“We don’t have a name yet for our group because we wanted to have broader membership from all over Visayas and Mindanao, all victims of these investment scams. We estimated if they are all willing to open up because some felt embarrassed, total victims of these scams are to be between 20,000 to 30,000 all over Mindanao and Visayas alone not including 10,000 from Luzon because KAPA extended their operations nationwide” Trinidad said.
Trinidad admitted core group members of victim investors of scams don’t want to open up in public because allegedly some cops and military men including government personnel and officials were allegedly involved in the scam.
“Some of them even open up secret offices to accept money from the public, Some do the collection secretly” Trinidad added.
Trinidad lambasted a public pronouncement from a PNP official that investors of investment or victims of scams could no longer get their money back saying “only the court can say that not the police”.
“In fact we wanted all these law enforcement agencies, officials and personnel to properly account, all those confiscated cash money, valuable items, properties they seized and report all the seizures with proper inventories with the courts who issued warrants and search orders. Because these will all form part of the litigation or legal process” Trinidad added.
Trinidad added some of the victims have already existing charges filed before prosecutors with some already forwarded or filed in various courts especially in Caraga region where there are many victims
Trinidad hoped all those confiscated by law enforcement agencies will not disappear or will be missing.
“We wanted an inventory of these cases too now pending at the Prosecutors office and in Courts as we seek guidance and help from the Supreme Court on these pending cases. And also this will all form part of the Senate and House investigations we wanted. These incidents of scams are actually the biggest in Asia in terms of numbers of people victimized and amounts, if all will just come out and file complaints” Trinidad concludes.
Meanwhile, close relatives of the 24 arrested in Lingig, Surigao del Sur raid that lead to the arrest of the KAPA founder, some of them were from Sarangani, Cotabato provinces from Polomolok and General Santos City who are provincemates of Senator Pacquiao now seeking help from the Senator saying some of those arrested are not actually bodyguards of Apolinario but mere salaried workers, helpers of Apolinario and his wife.
Gina Guarin, 38, house helper of the Apolinario couple told newsmen who interviewed her that she lost P13,000.00 she saved from her monthly salary she received from the KAPA founder.“We, workers of Pastor Apolinario were getting a monthly salary for our work as house helps, workers, farmers of the 20 hectares property of Pastor. The P13,000.00 cash money taken away by the raiders from me including my wallet I’ve learned were not included in the seized items listed. We are now seeking help from Senator Pacquiao because not all of the 24 arrested individuals don’t even know how to use and carry guns. They are not bodyguards of Pastor Apolinario but ordinary farmers and workers of his property. We wanted full investigations of this by that time, we will tell all” Guarin concludes.