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Cease order vs. firm owner linked to journo slay welcomed

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MALACAÑAN—THE Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) welcomed the ‘cease and desist order’ (CDO) issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against a purported “religious society foundation” in Mindanao whose founder has been accused of masterminding the murder of a broadcast journalist in Kidapawan in 2019.

PTFoMS executive director, Usec. Paul M. Gutierrez, said they recently received a copy of the CDO dated May 21, 2024 against the Humanitarian and Spiritual Mission Apostulates of Davao and Asia, Inc. (HASMADAI) for selling securities without approval from the Commission and in violation of its own articles of incorporation (AOI) that it submitted to the SEC.

Also covered by the CDO are the HASMADAI Foundation, Inc. and the Humanitarian Institute of Technology Corp. Their registration, however, are yet to be approved by the SEC.

The CDO was signed by the Commission en banc, headed by Chairman Emilio B. Aquino.

Gutierrez said the CDO was addressed to the 12 officials and incorporators of HASMADAI including Dante “Bobong” Encarnacion Tabusares, who also used the name Ralph Jimmy Calaor Gayatin. Tabusares identified himself as the “Bishop/President/Trustee” of HASMADAI on papers filed with the SEC.

Tabusares has been tagged as the ‘mastermind’ in the murder of Brigada FM Kidapawan broadcaster, Eduardo ‘Ed’ Dizon that happened on July 10, 2019. Dizon was allegedly killed on the order of Tabusares over his stringent criticism of the KAPA Community Ministry of which Tabusares admitted to being its “media coordinator and promoter” for North Cotabato.

The SEC closed KAPA down in early 2019 for being an investment scam and Dizon was killed just weeks after its closure.

The alleged gunman in the killing of Dizon, Junell Jane Andagkit Poten, aka, Junell Gerozaga, was finally collared in Makilala, Cotabato, last May 2, 2024, by members of a special investigation team formed by the government on the instigation of the PTFoMS.

In the present case, the SEC issued the CDO against HASMADAI after establishing it was another “fraud to the public” based on the thorough investigation conducted by the SEC’s Enforcement and Investor Protection Department (EIPD).

“The correlation between the killing of Ed Dizon and the present activities of Mr. Tabusares is becoming clear. We commend the SEC for its diligence in uncovering this latest modus of Mr. Tabusares aimed at taking the hard-earned money of our poor countrymen, especially in Mindanao,” Gutierrez said.

“In a way too, this has become a case of ‘hitting two birds with one stone’ because we have established other potential violations of the law by Mr. Tabusares and his confederates by digging deeper into the case of Ed Dizon,” he added.

The SEC investigation, Gutierrez said, revealed the same pattern being used by HASMADAI from that of KAPA, aimed at enticing the public to put their hard-earned money ranging from P5,000.00 to P20,000.00, with a promised of huge return within 6 months.

Due to Tabusares’ blandishment, the EIPD noted that HASMADAI is already entrenched in the “various municipalities and cities” in the CARAGA region, especially in the provinces of Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte.

HASMADAI chapters can also be found in North Cotabato, the Davao region, especially in Davao del Sur, in the Visayas and even in Luzon, according to its social media posts.

To prevent further harm to the public, the SEC likewise directed all the “representatives, salesmen, agents, brokers, dealers, promoters, recruiters, uplines, influencers, endorsers, abettors, and enablers and any, and all persons, conduit entities, subsidiaries, and affiliates” who are claiming and acting for and on behalf HASMADAI, to comply with the CDO.

The investment was in the guise of ‘spiritual support’ thru a “charity mission support pledge form” (CMSPF) with an ROI (return on investment) of between 27 percent to 34 percent to be paid by HASMADAI after 6 months in the form of “missionary allowance.”

During a municipal session last April 15, 2024 in San Francisco town, Agusan del Sur that Tabusares attended, the EIPD noted that not only did Tabusares admitted to his previous association with KAPA but also, that they are “accepting donations from persons who are in the country and abroad.”

In HASMADAI’s registration papers, however, the EIPD noted that the self-styled “religious society foundation” purposely stated that “…the corporation shall not solicit, accept or take investments/placements from the public neither shall it issue investment contracts.”

“Finally, this Commission holds that the act of HASMADAI and its Agents in selling/offering unregistered securities operates as a fraud to the public which, if unrestrained, will likely cause grave or irreparable injury or prejudice to the investing public,” the CDO declared.

Tabusares’ group was given 5 days by the SEC from their receipt of the CDO to appeal the decision.

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