PCSO board director, Atty. Aleta Tolentino, said a 2009 Commission on Audit report showed there were several checks representing the amount that were taken from the charity fund.
She said P1.44 million was given to the Archdiocese of Cotabato for the purchase of a service vehicle, P1.5 million went to the Zamboanga Archdiocesan Social Action Apostolate, P720,000 was given to Caritas Nueva Segovia, P1.125 million to the Roman Catholic Prelate of Isabela, Basilan and P1.7 million to the Diocese of Butuan.
- Archdiocese of Cotabato
- Zamboanga Archdiocesan Social Action Apostolate
- Caritas Nueva Segovia
- Roman Catholic Prelate of Isabela
- Diocese of Butuan
Wait. There’s only 5 in that list. Maybe some of those people received more than one Pajero. Or maybe 2 bishops got away. Anyway, it’s either PCSO is still looking for evidence against the 2 bishops (or got the initial allegations wrong), or these 2 bishops are too high up in the hierarchy to go after. I sure hope it’s not the latter.
Whatever the case, Atty. Tolentino said that the ones revealed and the officials involved will be investigated by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, chaired by Sen. TG. Guingona:
“Based on the COA report, may violation ng Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act). Siguro kung may kasalanan ang bishops, dapat parusahan sila. We should be God-fearing, not bishop-fearing,” she said.
I applaud the PCSO for following through, and for knowing that bishops should not be feared. But it’s not really necessary that people be God-fearing to follow the law. As these corrupt CBCP bishops will soon realize, the harsh criticism of society and the punitive power of the state are scary enough.