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By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent
Published: 00:00 July 7, 2011


Manila: An investigation that is under way by the Senate has shed new light on how past administrations used earnings from lottery for political purposes instead of charity.

Speaking during the Senate inquiry into the fund controversy involving the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) on Wednesday, Senator Chiz Escudero said the country's premiere charity institution should come up with strict and clear guidelines on how funding will be equitably and judiciously distributed among areas where assistance is really needed.

Favouring the few

"Based on these discoveries mostly culled from Commission on Audit (COA) reports, the PCSO is used somewhat as a pork barrel by the past sitting president, favouring only a selected few.

The PCSO is meant to service health programmes, medical services and charities of national character, meaning it is totally inclusive of all Filipinos in need of assistance and not only exclusive to those who fall on the good side of the sitting president," Escudero pointed out.

Escudero's observations also surfaced as the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee headed by Teofisto Guingona sought to clarify allegations that Catholic bishops close to the administration of President Gloria Arroyo benefitted from donations given to the PCSO. -- http://gulfnews.com/



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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 01:49:53 PM »
Butuan Bishop admits receiving SUV worth P1.7 million from PCSO
GMANews – Wed, Jul 6, 2011


BUTUAN CITY — Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, DD, on Wednesday admitted having received from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) a sports utility vehicle (SUV) worth P1.7 million as a birthday gift from former President and now incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“Nahibalo man about ana ang Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) – nga akong gitukod – nga daghan ang natabangan... didto gigamit ng sakyanan nga hatag sa PCSO through President Arroyo," said Pueblos in an interview on dxBR Bombo Radyo on Wednesday.

(The CCPD – which I organized and has served a lot of beneficiaries – knew that the car given to me by the PCSO through then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was used for the CCPD's activities.)

"Close" to Arroyo

Pueblos suspected that his closeness with Arroyo may have something to do with the trouble he is now facing.

The bishop said Arroyo attended three of his birthday celebrations in Butuan City and in one of those occasions, he requested in a letter addressed to the former President, a vehicle for community service.

Pueblos said Arroyo also appointed him as a member of a fact-finding team to investigate extra-judicial killings in the country.

He used the vehicle in investigating killings in far-flung areas.

“Didto me sa nagkalaing-laing dapit aron mag-investigate niadtong extra judicial killings nagamit nako ang maong sakyanan (The vehicle was a big help in our investigation on extrajudicial killings in far-flung areas.)

Pueblos claimed that he did not see anything wrong with the Arroyo administration providing him a vehicle to accomplish tasks for the government.

Vindictive?

He criticized President Benigno Aquino III for being "vindictive" and going after people allied with the former president.

Pueblos said the Filipino people will soon know who Aquino really is and that an exposé against Aquino will be out before the president delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25.

During the radio interview, Pueblos said he is in Manila for the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Plenary Assembly, where the issue raised against him and other bishops will be tackled.

Bishop Pueblos said the CBCP will be coming up with a press statement on the matter, adding that: “This issue has already divided and damaged CBCP." — Ben Serrano/LBG/VVP, GMA News


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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 02:44:00 PM »
a gift is a gift.  must the receiver try to question where it comes from?

the last thing that i expect is for boholano mons. juan de dios pueblos to get into trouble this way.
Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Philippines), as amended and strengthened by House  Bill 6893 of 2013--- violation means a maximum of P250,000 fine with a corresponding three-year jail term and a minimum of P30,000 fine and six months imprisonment

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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 02:59:16 PM »
Ang nakaparat kay nangayo kuno si bishop from GMA as a birthday gift...

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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 04:11:27 PM »
Kon daghan mo ug kwarta, taya lang mo sa PCSO.
Life is what you make.
Kon naa kay gisoksok, naa kay makuot.

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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 04:51:34 PM »
sigun sa hungihong daris kamaynila-an. grabeeee pud kono ka abusado si mickey arroyo sa pcso. ug mangajog kwarta mura konog sijay tag-ija sa pcso!
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 06:53:41 AM »
Bishops offer to return luxury cars
by Jojo Malig, abs-cbnNEWS.com
Posted at 07/07/2011 11:28 PM | Updated as of 07/08/2011 1:06 AM


MANILA, Philippines - Catholic bishops who received money from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to buy sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are willing to return the cars to the government, a church-run news agency said Thursday.

Butuan Bishop Juan De Dios Pueblos, who bought a P1.629-million Mitsubishi Montero from money given by the PCSO in 2009, is among the prelates willing to hand over the SUVs,  according to CBCP News.

Pueblos, who is perceived to be close to then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, had personally asked for a new vehicle from the Palace as a "birthday gift."

"I don't see any problem. I am riding a very old vehicle within the diocese itself. I could even ride yung mga small vehicle if it is necessary. It will not really be a problem," he said in an interview with Church-run Radyo Veritas.

He added that he is willing to face an ongoing Senate investigation into the alleged misuse of funds in the state lottery agency during the Arroyo administration.

He also accused the present administration of going after critics.

"Yes, I would even like to make a privilege speech in Senate," he said. "It's a character assassination what they did to me and because of this I have also in sort of to defend myself."

Another Church official, Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad, said he is willing to return a P1.225-million worth Mitsubishi Estrada his diocese bought using PCSO funds in 2009.

"If they want to get it, it's ready. We can return it to them," Jumoad said, as quoted by CBCP News.

Bishops Deogracias Iñiguez of Calookan and Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon said handing over the vehicles to the PCSO may finally end the controversy.

"Just return the vehicles to put an end to this issue. Not doing so will only fuel speculations," Iñiguez said.

"Return all these vehicles to PNoy (President Aquino). They’ll make it appear that the bishops personally used those vehicles when the bishops didn't," Bastes said.

Archbishops Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato, Romulo Valles of Zamboanga, Ernesto Salgado ofNueva Segovia, Bishops Rodolfo Beltran of Bontoc-Lagawe, and Leopoldo Jaucian of Abra have yet to say if they will return their PCSO-funded vehicles.


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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 06:55:39 AM »
'Bishops answer directly to Pope'

Meanwhile, a Catholic priest who is among the country's top legal minds said the controversy is complicated both for the government and the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

In a blog post, Fr. Joaquin Bernas, SJ, JSD,  said the issue "can turn out to be a very messy entanglement of state and religion."

"I can see that Church authorities will have to think very carefully how to handle the PCSO revelations," Bernas said.

"But I am not sure that the CBCP can command the bishops concerned what to do. Bishops answer directly to the Pope," he added.

Bernas, an amicus curiae of the Supreme Court and who was among those who helped draft the 1987 Constitution, said the question of separation of Church and state over the money given to the bishops cannot be answered by a simple yes or no.

While citing Article 6, Section 29 (2) of the constitution that bars government from giving public funds to support a specific religious sect or group,  Bernas said ruling on previous legal cases depend on the purpose and uses of the government "gift."

He mentioned the case of Aglipay vs. Ruiz on use of government funds for the issuance of postage stamps commemorating the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress of the Catholic Church, as well as the expropriation of the birthplace of Felix Y. Manalo, the founder of the Iglesia ni Kristo, for the purpose of preserving it as a historical landmark.

He said the cash donation made by the PCSO under Arroyo must past 3 tests. "First, does the grant of aid have a primary 'secular legislative purpose?' Second, will the aid have principal effects which neither advance nor inhibit religion? Third, will the aid foster 'an excessive government entanglement with religion?'"

He said those looking to either affirm or debunk the legality of the cash gifts must look at the terms of the donations.

"We can find these from the records of the PCSO. The records will show," Bernas said.

"The people would want to know to what extent the gifts have actually been used for the declared purpose or if they have been used for other undeclared purposes such as advancing religion," he added.

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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 02:57:06 PM »
Philippine bishops deny luxury cars were 'gifts'
(AFP) – 21 hours ago


MANILA — Roman Catholic bishops in the Philippines on Thursday denied they received luxury vehicles as gifts that had been paid for illegally by a former president who was trying to win political favour.

State lottery officials alleged that bishops were given Mitsubishi Pajeros and large donations from then-president Gloria Arroyo in 2007-2010 to get their support during her impeachment crisis over alleged corruption and vote fraud.

The cars and donations were allegedly financed using state lottery funds.

"Our conscience is clear," said Bishop Nereo Odchimar, head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, in a letter to the Senate, which is holding public hearings on allegations that Arroyo illegally used lottery cash.

"We truly believe there was no violation of the law.... we categorically deny that the funds were used to buy 'seven Pajeros' for the 'personal use' of bishops," said the letter, which was made available to the press.

The lottery said donations by government entities to religious organisations are illegal due to the constitutional separation of church and state in the Catholic-dominant Philippines.

The church leaders' organisation, however, issued a separate statement which admitted that three bishops received lottery cash for "social projects" and had used some of the funds to purchase vehicles for those projects.

The statement said bishops had chosen more humble vehicles, such as used pick-up trucks.

Senator Franklin Drilon said on ABS-CBN television Thursday the statements still showed the bishops had let themselves be compromised by Arroyo, who was elected to the House of Representatives last year.

"That does not detract from the fact that certain prelates in the church took advantage of their closeness to the former president and the former president took some actions which eroded the credibility of the CBCP," he said, referring to the Bishops Conference.

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« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 02:59:24 PM »

Kaduhaduhaan jud hinuon ang mga motibo sa naghatag...

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« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2011, 03:23:26 PM »
Military money scandals, fertilizer scam, money bags to the governors ... now SUVs to the bishops--they're all part of the same thread. Once you buy your way to the presidency, you'll have to buy your way through it.
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2011, 06:53:52 PM »
...and on to your rightful destination whose road is paved with good intentions...

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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2011, 06:55:43 PM »
7 bishops to face Senate
SUV recipients ready to return vehicles to PCSO
By Chona Yu, Christian V. Esguerra, Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Radyo Inquirer
12:21 am | Sunday, July 10th, 2011


The seven Catholic bishops criticized for receiving donations of sport utility vehicles from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) during the Arroyo administration will face senators investigating the controversy.

Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos and his fellow prelates received summonses from the Senate last Thursday and decided to attend the inquiry and formally respond to accusations of wrongdoing.

“We will attend as a group,” Abra Bishop Leonardo Jaucian  told the Inquirer on Saturday.

The Senate blue ribbon committee opened last Tuesday a public inquiry into the donations approved by the PCSO board during the Arroyo administration. The hearings will resume this week.

Jaucian also said he had decided to return to the PCSO the Mitsubishi Strada pickup that his diocese had purchased using a P1.107-million donation from the agency two years ago.

Jaucian said that at its plenary assembly that began yesterday at the Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) decided to leave to him and the six other prelates the choice of whether to return the SUVs or not.

“The decision to return or not is given to individual bishops,” Jaucian said. “Everyone is willing to return the vehicles.”

Earlier, Pueblos and Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Quevedo indicated that they were ready to let go of the vehicles. They said the vehicles were being used for charity missions and related programs, and never for their personal service.


More at: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/22636/7-bishops-to-face-senate

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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2011, 05:19:22 AM »
SUV registered under Butuan bishop's name
abs-cbnNEWS.com
Posted at 07/12/2011 11:45 PM | Updated as of 07/12/2011 11:45 PM


MANILA, Philippines - A 2009 silver Mitsubishi Montero Sport parked at the bishop's palace in Butuan has been spotted by an ABS-CBN News team.

Based on the records of the Land Transportation Office, the vehicle was purchased in September 2009 and was registered under the name of Bishop Juan De Dios Pueblos.

The purchase was sealed 2 months after the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) released P1.7 million that was deposited in BPI Butuan.

Lawyer Alim Pangandaman, director of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in the Caraga region, said his office verified the information.

However, pro-life groups and other lay leaders said there is nothing illegal about the PCSO donating luxury vehicles to bishops, even if these are registered under their names.

Lawyer Romulo Macalintal said the donations are made "in the service of the church."

A group is now collecting more than P8 million to be donated to the CBCP.

The amount is the cost of the 7 vehicles purchased through PCSO funds. They are leaving it up to the CBCP whether to use the money to pay the PCSO or buy replacement vehicles.

PCSO chairperson Margie Juico, meanwhile, cleared the bishops of any wrongdoing.

At a mass Tuesday at the PCSO, Juico said there was no malice in the bishops' request.

She also praised the CBCP for apologizing to the public.

Juico said they consider the church as a partner in public service.

For Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz, meanwhile, there is no excuse for the the actions of his colleagues.

"Kulang kasi sa delikadeza, sorry to say, mali ang mga kapatid kong mga obispo," he said. "Ang tubig pag may kaunting dumi, marumi pa rin."

Cruz considers the controversy a blessing in disguise, which agents of the church like him can reflect on.

The CBCP is leaving it up to the bishops concerned whether to return the vehicles.

Their decisions may be known during the continuation of the Senate hearing into the PCSO fund mess on Wednesday. - Report from Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News; ANC


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Re: Philippines lottery earnings used for political gain, probe shows
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2011, 05:20:48 AM »

Inosente ra bitaw to nga request sa akong paminaw...

hubag bohol

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Re: Philippines lottery earnings used for political gain, probe shows
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2011, 05:22:10 AM »

Hmm, morag harsh ra pud gamay nis Archie...

magbalantay

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Re: Philippines lottery earnings used for political gain, probe shows
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2011, 08:36:05 AM »
        inosente man or dili....just the same ningdawat sila ;D  naa man jud untai separation of the church and state, and unsaon na lang ning "vow of poverty?" :D  TINUWA-AN ang atong mga obispo sa atong gobyerno. basta ngil-ad jud. maka uwaw ilang gibuhat!!! :-[ :-[ :-[


buwadsanga

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Re: Philippines lottery earnings used for political gain, probe shows
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2011, 10:14:45 AM »
mapa himudsanon ning mga obispoha porki may garci scandal si gma! 

magbalantay

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Re: Philippines lottery earnings used for political gain, probe shows
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2011, 08:03:37 AM »
      korek ka pre, fdaray. taya pra maka share pud ang mga buaya :-* :D



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