MANILA, July 6, 2010— Archbishop Oscar Cruz is seeking for the passage of Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill to trace the bishops receiving donations from a state-run gambling firm. [Ha! I am loving this!]
Cruz said that once the measure is approved, it would be easy to get necessary information from the controversial Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).
One thing that he would like know, he said, is the name of bishops allegedly receiving donation from the agency which is prohibited by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. [I know whoooooo!!!!!]
“In conjunction with this FOI act once it is approved, it would be quite difficult for government agencies not to give whatever public documents there are,” said Cruz, retired archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan.
“(For donations), they have their checks, vouchers and consequently with the passing of FOI bill it will be easy to secure public documents in order to validate certain realities... including the names of those bishops who receive (money from Pagcor).” [and PCSO.]
The known anti-gambling crusader admitted such information, if indeed proven true, could the affect the image of the bishops’ hierarchy.
“But the truth is the truth. Truth knows no party. I’m sorry but I’m just saying that the truth will set us free,” he said. [remember how Cardinals Mahony of LA and Law of Boston swept everything under gthe rug? Look at what happened.]
“The CBCP never claims sanctity nor sainthood but it doesn’t mean that it should also be dishonored by contradictions to their own pronouncements.”
It’s clear, he said, based on two CBCP pastoral statements that they are barred from receiving donations from all forms of gambling, legal or illegal, as getting such contributions is still considered immoral. [But I remember Cardinal Sin saying that if he ever receives money from the devil, he'll take it and use it to feed the poor. Hmmm... Hard to do the math there.]
Cruz earlier called on President Benigno Aquino III to abolish Pagcor, one of the country’s biggest revenue-generating government-owned and controlled corporations.
Pagcor, he said, in its many years of existence has only brought havoc to the nation than its perceived economic benefits.
Created in 1977, Pagcor is mandated to regulate casino gaming and all games of chance in the country. It is also tasked to raise funds for the governments’ socio-civic and national developmental efforts, and to help boost the country’s tourism industry.
The archbishop, however, alleged that Pagcor was synonymous to corruption––a problem that, according to Cruz, the incoming President had promised to eradicate. [Pagcor generates money from the President's Social Fund which accounts for millions if not billions!]
“Gambling is synonymous to corruption and if Pagcor remains just like that, and in fact it’s still trying to open new branches… the promise of anti-corruption is not as tenable,” Cruz said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)
Let's play "Name That Bishop" ala Name that Tune
I can name those bishops in three names...mostly from Mindanao. And also one here in Manila. And a priest in Manila, always on TV.
One of the bishops became a high ranking CBCP official.
Ooops. TMI there.