Now we know why

WE are no longer living under the age of inquisition but a number of Roman Catholic Bishops in the Philippines still dream otherwise thus they always provoke the civilian government to a confrontation only to find out, as they are given a dose of reality, that an era when the Church can do anything it wants is now a time long gone as it is already 2011.

But old habits die hard.

Archbishop Nereo Odchimar, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philip-pines president, vehemently defended a number of his bishops who asked Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for expensive Sport Utility Vehicles and received them via the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, the country’s largest numbers game (lotto) franchiser and operator.

Take note the local bishops of the Roman Catholic Church are very vocal against gambling, especially jueteng, the poor man’s numbers game; but it seems they are not averse to accepting money or vehicles coming from the PCSO, the operator of the “big time lotto.”

This hypocritical position of the bishops vis-à-vis lotto makes me want to laugh (complete with the hand gestures) ala the late actor Romy Diaz.

Completely ignoring the obvious conflict of interest and the lack of propriety on the part of his princes, Odchimar even tried to appear heroic when he told the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee that “we are willing to face the consequences” stressing, however, that the bishops who received the luxury SUVs from the PCSO violated no laws and that any donation to a bi-shop went to the diocese and did not become his personal property (hmmmm I am sure the vehicle is only for the exclusive use of the bishop).

“Whatever benefit the Catholic Church may draw from the gift is purely incidental,” Odchimar said, adding “Our conscience is clear” (Hi-hi-hi-hi laugh to the tune of Yano’s Banal na Aso).

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is investigating the possibility of some irregularities in the PCSO operation after it was reported that it was ran to the ground by the Arroyo regime.

Among the actions being probed is the PCSO’s expensive “gifts” to a number of bishops, including Butuan Bishop Juan De Dios Pueblos who recently asked President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to resign the presidency.

According to the records submitted by the PCSO to the Senate, De Dios Pueblos wrote Arroyo on the eve of his 66th birthday in 2009 asking for a 4X4 vehicle as a gift to be used for “spiritual and social services.”

De Dios Pueblos, in the same letter, expressed his whole hearted support for Arroyo despite all the scandals rocking her government hence it was no surprise that he recently asked Aquino to resign. (That is payback for his debt of gratitude).

It was also learned by the Senate committee that it is not only De Dios Pueblos who asked for an ex-pensive gift but a number of his co-princes as well, all of whom stood by Arroyo during her darkest hours as she repeatedly faced numerous impeachment charges of corruption, election cheating and human rights violation.

Now we know the reason why the Roman Catholic bishops are not united in their stand against corruption in the government, election failure and human rights violations in the countryside during Arroyo’s reign.

For more information call Ms. Elaine Garchitorena at 0495620976.

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