Latest Stories
‘It’s worse than thievery’

Independent Church heads say pork like stealing alms

SIGN at the massive Million People March in Luneta on Aug. 26 mirrors the rage now spreading nationwide over the systematic theft of public funds through the pork barrel system and other schemes of corruption in government. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Bishops from the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) joined the growing call for the abolition of what they termed as the “syndicated distribution of government money to a few.”

During its three-day meeting here that ended on Wednesday, the IFI’s Supreme Council of Bishops (SCB) said the investigation of the pork barrel scam should also continue and that those guilty of its misuse should be prosecuted and punished.


‘Disturbing reality’

Most Reverend Ephraim Fajutagana, IFI’s supreme bishop, said the pork barrel scam and other forms of corruption in the government “is a disturbing reality” that made Filipinos “suffer from worsening economic difficulties.”

“Government resources, intended to uplift them from the misery of poverty, are systematically stolen from the nation’s coffers,” Fajutagana said.

He said during the three-day meeting of at least 35 bishops, it was agreed that the siphoning off of government funds involving lawmakers, Janet Lim-Napoles, and her nongovernment organizations “is more than a thievery.”

“The controversy has pulled down the curtain of hypocrisy that for decades has covered the syndicated distribution of government resources to the hands of the few, while people are left with badly shaved social services,” Fajutagana said.

Napoles is being accused in the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, along with at least least 50 congressmen and senators. The scam involved ghost projects.

Right Reverend Dr. Vic Esclamado, chair of the IFI Supreme Council, said because “billions of pesos are being plundered instead of being allotted to a constituency of mostly poor people made the crime more intolerable.”

“We see the pork barrel scam as another manifestation of systemic injustice bred by bureaucratic corruption that arises from the country’s bankrupt political systems,” Esclamado said.

“It has come to simply mean taking money from the beggar’s alms plate or taking a bowl of ‘lugaw’ from the hands of the poor dying of hunger done repeatedly year after year,” he added.


Fajutagana said while “greed in men is a natural thing” humans should be able to learn to control it.

One of the ways, he said, is to “put the welfare of the country and the people first.”

He said to prevent a similar anomaly, the government should totally abolish the pork barrel system.

“(President Aquino) must make every effort, at the same time, to recover the trust of the people toward the bureaucracy through persistent efforts to prosecute and punish plunderers, regardless of who they are,” Fajutagana said. Bobby Lagsa, Inquirer Mindanao

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Iglesia Filipina Independiente , News , Regions , Supreme Council of Bishops

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • How other faiths observe Holy Week
  • No noise, partying in Boracay on Good Friday
  • More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  • NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat
  • DOH issues official statement on confirmed case of MERS-CoV
  • Sports

  • Tenacious Iran frustrates Qatar to retain Asian Club volleyball crown
  • Floyd Mayweather is ESPN’s top-paid athlete
  • Pistorius trial: Judge sets 2-week adjournment
  • China, Taiwan rout foes for 3rd, 5th places in Asian Club volleyball
  • Ginebra’s new import Freeman arrives, makes PBA return vs ROS
  • Lifestyle

  • Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Entertainment

  • Filipino rock icons to hold silent concert
  • Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao’s greatest hits
  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • Business

  • Russian economy hit by Ukraine turmoil
  • PSEi firms up ahead of Lenten break
  • I-Remit teams up with Lakhoo for remittances from Oman
  • Megawide nets P1.4 B in 2013
  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Visa-free travel by Filipinos to Japan still a proposal
  • Visa-free travel to Japan could boost tourism
  • 2 PCG men ordered arrested over Balintang Channel shooting
  • US Embassy closed on Holy Thursday, Good Friday
  • Marketplace