Bishops on wheels

The Philippines Charity Sweepstakes Office is looking into allegations that Gloria “La Patrona de Los Obispos” Arroyo used its funds to reward her most ardent devotees.

Asked for comment, one bishop from the once thriving Obispado de Malacanang tweeted back, “We are very upset. We are not accustomed to anyone poking into our assets.”

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • @GabbyD, part of the separation doctrine means government cannot allocate funds to religious groups. In this case, barring a clear showing that the donations were intended for secular purposes, then it is a clear violation of this Constitutional provision. The loophole here is if the donations can be shown to be for secular purposes, e.g. transporting relief goods to calamity-stricken areas. Then whatever benefit the religious charity group gets as a religious group is only secondary, as the PRIMARY benefit went to the charity work.

  • GabbyD

    just to be clear, why is this illegal? is there a prohibition against using pcso funds for partners that are religious? even IF the funds go to charity?

    so this is “technicality”, than plunder. to be clear, these are important, but its not stealing for personal use.

  • UP nn grad

    One solution to the Obispos receiving goody-bags from PCSO via the Office of the President is this — Congress should affirm separation-of-church, Congress to write a law that prevents Malacanang from sending pesos-and-material to help the poor to NGO’s, including this practice of vouchers where gobyerno pays money to pull students out of public schools to send these students to private schools.