DAVAO DEL SUR, Philippines (UPDATED) – Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday, September 18, arrested a Davao del Sur provincial board member and 7 others over their alleged links to the outlawed investment scheme Kapa Ministry International.
Jonathan Balite, director of the National Bureau of Investigation in Southern Mindanao, confirmed that Arvin Malaza and several other persons were in NBI custody.
He said the entrapment operation was conducted at the office of Muews Radio here, an FM station owned by Malaza.
Witnesses who spoke to Rappler said the raiding team seized vehicles, computers and other items from Malaza's radio station although the NBI did not mention of any seizure.
In an interview with reporters at the NBI office, Malaza – also known as Jun Blanco – said he was surprised when NBI agents handcuffed him as he was asking them if they had search warrants.
"It was my first time to come to the station after a long period. I saw them coming so I asked them if they had warrants. They arrested me instead," he said, adding that at first, the agents were not minding him at all.
He denied any wrongdoing, saying he only went to the station to visit his workers.
NBI 11 spokesperson Joel Ayop said Malaza and his companions were brought for inquest before Digos City Assistant Prosecutor Jehrameel Libre.
The others were identified as Jezreel Beray, Wendy Samson, Gliselle Corpuz, Jake Louie Diez, Irish Dayanap, Audie Barsalote, and Romeo Largo.
Ayop said the NBI filed complaints against Blanco and the other suspects were for large scale estafa, illegal possession of firearms and violation of Securities and Exchange Commission regulation over the operation of Kapa Ministry International.
Malaza supposedly managed the operations of Kapa in Digos City.
During the inquest, Malaza and the other suspects were accompanied by retired Koronadal City Regional trial Court judge Agustin Sardido.
Libre asked the NBI to submit a supplemental affidavit, noting that all suspects were charged with illegal possession of firearms when only one of them yielded a firearm during the supposed entrapment operation on Wednesday.
Sardido also asked the CPO to order the NBI to hand over Malaza to the custody of authorities in Digos City.
Libre asked the NBI to comment on Sardido's request.
After the inquest, Malaza and the other suspects were brought back to the NBI office in Davao City. – Rappler.com