Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bishops amidst luxury cars issue

The Catholic Bishops of the Philippines (CBCP) is being faced to justify why certain bishops requested and eventually received luxury vehicles from Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds.

A certain Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos asked and received funds as a birthday gift and bought a Montero but claimed he uses the vehicle to reach poor communities. Others are Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo who received undetermined vehicles for the diocese of Abra and the vicariates of Bontoc and Lagawa, Fr. Adriano Ruiz got a Toyota Grandia, Bishop Martin Jumoad of Basilan received a Mitsubishi Strada, and the Archdiocese of Caritas Nueva Segovia in Ilocos Sur an Isuzu Crosswind and Archbishop Fernando Capalla also requested an Isuzu Alterra for Fr. Roger Lood of Iligan City, but it was not released. PCSO Chief Margie Juico said a total of 5 vehicles costing P6.49 million were given to different Catholic prelates and institutions, all of which were charged to the PCSO charity fund.

My opinion on this hot issue lies on the laws that need to be followed and implemented both by the church and the state. I do understand the necessity of our catholic bishops to do charitable works in helping the government but without violating any law of the state and still showing the morals of their teachings by example. Likewise, the state must at all times show transparency and accountability in using people’s funds.

When it comes to people’s funds, the government has the sole responsibility on its usage. People, establishments, institutions and more are being obligated to pay their taxes and yet this kind of thing happened. It is very frustrating. I just still hope that the government will find a way to be aware how people’s funds are being disbursed in accordance with laws, procedures and policies of the state and prosecute those who violated it.


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