Pajero bishops ready for consequences

Bishops in the Philippines have apologised “for the pain and sadness” caused after some bishops accepted donations from the state run Charity Sweepstakes Office.

The president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Bishop Nereo Odchimar, also said that the seven bishops involved were ready to “face the consequences” if they were found to have broken the law.

“We express… our deep sorrow for the pain that the recent events have brought to you our beloved people,” Odchimar said in a statement.

It was revealed last week that the government’s lotto operator made donations to the bishops friendly to ex-President Gloria Arroyo, in exchange for political favours.

The bishops, labelled the “Pajero Bishops,” each received a 4WD Mitsubishi Pajero and cash.

Philippines lawmakers are investigating the allegations against the bishops and whether the donations were illegal and violated the constitutional separation of church and state.

While reports the scandal has hurt the Church, the presidential palace said it will not affect church relations with the Government.

The Church is a “partner of the government when it comes to charity,” Abigail Valte, President Benigno Aquino’s spokesperson said.

The government needs “all the help it can get” in helping those in need, she added.

In order to put an end to the speculation there have been calls for former president Arroyo to speak and clarify the matter.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , ,