Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. (Matthews 23:27)
“Let them resign!”
“She should apologize via all media organization”.
These are what the bishops and high ranking leaders of the Catholic Church in the Philippines shout against the current PCSO Chairperson Margie Juico after dragging the names of some Catholic bishops into the irregular use of PCSO funds during the past administration. PCSO (or Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office) is one of the major branches of the government that deals with the “raising and providing for funds for health programs, medical assistance and services, and charities of national character”, as what the Republic Act 1169 dictated. Being a government agency, PCSO is included in the declaration of Article VI Section 28 of the 1987 Constitution which says, “No public money or property shall be appropriated, applied, paid, or employed, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, sectarian institution, or system of religion, or of any priest, preacher, minister, other religious teacher, or dignitary as such, except when such priest, preacher, minister, or dignitary is assigned to the armed forces, or to any penal institution, or government orphanage or leprosarium”. This provision of the “separation of the Church and state” principle was clearly violated during the administration of ex-President Gloria Arroyo when the agency’s funds were used to provide the luxurious requests of some Church bishops in the country.
By saying that vehicles are needed for charitable works like relief missions and similar activities in their respective dioceses,
some bishops, according to the 2009 report of the Commission on Audit, received great amounts that totaled to P7 million; amounts that were used to buy luxurious vehicles such as Bishop Pueblo’s 4×4 Montero Sports, Bishop Quevedo’s Mitsubishi Pajero, etc.. This amount was released when the former President entertained the request of some bishops like that of Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblo. But perhaps, due to the shameful consequences of Juico’s exposition, bishops decided to return the vehicles to the government, but they now calling for the resignation of the current PCSO Chairperson, a call that the government ignored.
Bishops are now appearing before the scene as a flock of lamb. Displaying their innocence and pitiful appearance hoping to get more sympathy from millions of Catholics all over the country. They say that they were used as sacrifice in order to conceal the
bigger anomaly of the agency (which actually they are just part of it). Bishops are now the good ones while Juico appears to be a liar by telling that they asked for Pajero instead of saying that it’s actually a 4×4 Montero. But why Montero? Why Strada or Crosswind? Are the poor need to be visited with Pajero?… I mean a 4×4 Montero?