THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning the public of entities posing as paramilitary or pseudo-law enforcement and civic-oriented organizations or associations.

Some of these entities were “flaunting their SEC registration as a nonstock corporation to lend a color of legitimacy to their operations,” while some were not registered at all.

The SEC said it will not “tolerate the use of the corporate vehicle in proliferating these kinds of paramilitary activities/scheme.”

Without specific names, the regulator said these entities use names of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine Center on Transnational Crime – INTERPOL National Central Bureau Manila, the United Nations (UN), and other government agencies or international bodies to operate.

“Based on the investigation conducted by the department, these individuals or entities appear to have been using military affiliations/positions and appropriating military ranks to engage in activities or undertakings pertaining to the functions/mandates of the PNP, AFP, INTERPOL, the [UN] and its affiliates,” the commission said in an advisory, which also took note of the logos and emblems these entities used.

The commission said a certificate of registration as a corporation does not come with a license or authority to conduct paramilitary activities.

“These activities or functions are outside the scope that can be conferred by the Revised Corporation of the Philippines or by the Commission, nor can their paramilitary/law-enforcement activities be considered as incidental to or part of their express powers as corporations,” the SEC said.

The certificate issued by the commission also cannot give these entities rights or authority to use the names and logos of the United Nations, INTERPOL, and other international organizations.

As the act “blatantly constitutes misrepresentation” and may be used to promote fraudulent activities or “can be reasonably expected” to cause danger to public safety and welfare.

“The commission shall not hesitate to impose corresponding penalties under the Revised Corporation Code for violations committed by these corporations, without prejudice to liabilities individuals representing these corporations/entities may face for violations of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines,” the SEC said. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte