MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said on Friday, June 14, that Kapa-Community Ministry International has basis to file an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte.
This is among the recommendations of Trillanes in relation to the Kapa controversy, which he made in a statement on Friday.
The senator said Duterte’s actions against Kapa, which is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a religious organization, violate religious freedom, which is guaranteed under the 1987 Constitution.
“Para sa mga lider at miyembro ng Kapa, magfile ng kasong impeachment laban kay Duterte for culpable violation of the Constitution (i.e. Art. II, Sec. 6) dahil sa pagbalewala nito sa kanilang religious freedom,” the senator recommended.
(For the leaders and members of Kapa, file an impeachment complaint against Duterte for culpable violation of the Constitution [i.e. Art. III, Sec. 6] because of his disregard for their religious freedom.)
He said in Filipino that if it’s true that Kapa is registered with SEC as a religious organization and the so-called “investment” is stated in the documents as “donation” then “Duterte and the government have no right and authority to stop this because of the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.”
“Karapatan ng isang miyembro na i-donate kahit lahat ng kanyang pera sa kanyang simbahan. Kahit wala itong resibo at hindi ito pwede buwisan. Kahit pa na mukha ngang Ponzi scheme ang pamamalakad ng Kapa, basta maliwanag sa mga myembro nito na kung sakaling hindi bumalik ang kanilang pera, hindi sila pwedeng magreklamo dahil nga, simula't sapul ito ay kanilang ‘donation’ sa kanilang simbahan,” Trillanes said.
(A member has the right to donate all his money to his church. Even if there is no receipt and it’s not subject to tax. Even if Kapa’s management really looks like a Ponzi scheme, for as long its clear to the members that in case they cannot retrieve their money, they can’t complaint because from the start, this is their “donation” to their church.)
Trillanes also recommended to the Kapa members to file a class suit against Duterte and his government after his term ends “so that they can recoup their ‘donations.’”
“Kung mananalo sa kaso, maari ding ipa-garnish ang lahat ng ari-arian ng Duterte family (If they win in their case, all the properties of the court can issue a garnishment order on all the properties of the Duterte family.)
Trillanes said that if it’s true that no private complainants filed estafa complaints against Kapa, then the government can’t file a syndicated estafa complaint against it.
The senator also had a recommendation to the government in relation to the case.
“Habang iniimbestigahan nila kung ano man ang violation, payagan ang Kapa na mag-operate temporarily, at least 30 days, para mabigyan ito ng pagkakataong isoli ang mga naiiwang pera na hawak nila para sa kanilang miyembro,” he said.
(While Kapa is being investigated for any violation, allow it to operate temporarily for at least 30 days, so that it can have a chance to return the remaining money in its possession to its members.)
Trillanes added that the government should also do an inventory of the cash and property it seized from Kapa and to “do a distribution plan so that this can be distributed to the Kapa members."
The Court of Appeals had frozen the bank accounts and assets of Kapa upon the petition of SEC and the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
The government began legal action against Kapa after Duterte ordered its shutdown during a June 8 interview with close friend Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who asked about what can be done about the its operations.
Kapa, headed by Pastor Joel Apolinario, promises a 30% “love gift” each month to its members. (EXPLAINER: How Kapa took advantage of investors) – Rappler.com