August 26, 2019 - Monday
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Davao City, Philippines

The Kapa nightmare

July 15, 2019 - Monday 4:07 AM by Jimmy Laking

The feedback in Davao del Sur is that first-timer board member Arvin “Jun Blanco” Malaza has made himself scarce over the past weeks. 

I was introduced to Malaza in 2017 by friends who described him a close confidante of Governor Douglas Ra. Cagas. 

In the process I learned that Malaza has made quite an impression through his popular radio program as a “broadcast journalist, public servant, philanthropist, and people’s champion.” Hence, it was no surprise that he was elected as provincial board member in the May mid-term elections in his first try. 

But lately my friends say they have no idea where he is now. Colleagues in the broadcast industry suggested it may have something to do with his involvement with Kapa and its investment scheme that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) deemed a scam. 

I tried to get in touch with him in his Facebook account in vain. In my message, I wrote that I wanted to get his side on what is actually happening. Is he is just taking a vacation to cool it off? No reply.

President Duterte’s order to close down Kapa and its derivative entities appeared to be the last straw, creating a tremor of tectonic proportion whose violent aftershocks time and again continue to rock the landscape. 

Now those involved in its promotion are nowhere to be found with some definitely on the run. On the ground, the consequences are ugly and deadly. In Tagum City, a spate of killings (or at least in two more instances) is believed linked to the victim’s involvement with Kapa or its derivatives. 

In the weeks before a pair of gunmen snuffed his life in a hail of bullets, Kidapawan City radio station manager and commentator Eduardo Dizon had been critical of Kapa’s operation.

Kidapawan-based colleagues said the former Makilala municipal councilor railed against the investment scheme almost daily and this is probably one of the angles the police are pursuing in pinning down those who wanted him dead. 

The Soccskargen Press Club has condemned his “brazen gun-slaying” even as it called for a swift investigation to render justice to the victim’s family. 

In Tagum City, an executive assistant of Mayor Allan Rellon hosted a press conference to wash his hands of the investment scam.

He conceded that while he was involved in promoting the scheme, the money went straight to the “company.” In short, he was also a victim, or that was the impression he gave.

The spate of killings is indeed unfortunate. Nobody wanted them to happen. But at least a few local politicians who have latched into the investment scheme’s operations in a bid to boost their image should be made accountable. They were, in a manner of speaking, accessories to the fraud. 

An exception was the city of Davao whose mayor had consistently warned against the operation of Ponzi-like investment schemes. 

This is consistent with President Duterte’s stand who regarded the scheme an abomination although it may look like heaven. It is one type of “business” he has warned Filipinos not to fall into or suffer its consequences. 

For many, it is a nightmare with its sleepless nights and cries of anguish.

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