Detained founder of ministry in multibillion-peso scam wants Senate seat

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 02 2021 12:19 PM

Authorized representatives of Joel
Authorized representatives of Joel "Pastor" Apolinario on Oct. 2, 2021 filed a certificate of candidacy for senator on his behalf. Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

MANILA— The detained founder of a ministry accused of orchestrating one of the Philippines' biggest investment scams, is seeking a Senate seat in 2022. 

On Saturday, authorized representatives of Kapa-Community Ministry International Joel "Pastor" Apolinario filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator on his behalf.

According to his representatives who refused to be identified, Apolinario, once elected would push for "jobs for the jobless," ownership of land among the homeless, and access to quality education through a "study-now-pay-later" scheme.

"Part of the advocacy of Pastor Joel is to be an educator and allow 
Filipinos to access quality education," his representative told reporters.

ARRESTED 

Apolinario was arrested in 2020 over syndicated estafa charges, a non-bailable offense.

Kapa, a religious group, had been accused of masterminding one of the country's biggest investment scams that promised members a 30-percent return or “love gift” each month for their donations. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) believes Kapa accumulated as much as P50 billion from its victims.

No less than President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the shutdown of Apolinario’s Kapa over complaints of swindling and unfulfilled investment promises. 

Kapa is "willfully, unlawfully and criminally" selling securities without a registration and its officials are "promoting the investment scam," according to the Department of Justice. 

Kapa, through its loyal "donors," fought back and asked the Supreme Court to stop or reverse the implementation of the SEC order shutting it down. 

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