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Church to set rules on donations following PCSO vehicles scandal

/ 08:26 AM July 16, 2011

THE Archdiocese of Cebu received money for outreach and infrastructure programs from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) but will be “more careful” in accepting donations following the controversy over PCSO-funded vehicles for bishops.

“In the future, we will try to reexamine our relationship with the PCSO,” said Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Vidal in a press conference yesterday.

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Vidal said they would continue feeding programs for the poor using their “small resources” if the PCSO donations will be discontinued.

The senators should set guidelines for PCSO donations, said the prelate who attended the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the vehicle controversy last July 13.

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The Church will also set its own guidelines for accepting donations.

“I hope that this case would already be closed,” Vidal said.

“I am hurt by their accusations.”

Vidal said the bishops who appeared at the hearing proved that they did not receive Pajeros, but 4×4 sports utility vehicles used for outreach programs.

He said four vehicles were already returned to the Sentae while three others in Mindanao would also be returned.

When asked if PCSO officials should apologize for the “Pajero bishops” tag, Vidal said an apology is not demanded but is something sincerely offered.

“What we want to ask is who’s responsible for all this? Is this some kind of PR (tactic)? And what is their puspose in doing this?” Vidal said.

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As chairman of the Committee of Bishop’s Concern of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Vidal said he flew to Manila as soon as he heard that PCSO chairman Margarita Juico’s office was investigating allegations that seven bishops received Mitsubishi Pajeros.

Vidal said the Archdiocese of Cebu regularly recieves donations from PCSO.

“I’m not aware if all (parishes) received but Cebu is the center and there are many activities here,” he said.

“There’s a regularity of donation so the programs can continue.”

To complete a project, Vidal said they would send a proposal letter to the PCSO.

If the proposal is approved by the PCSO and funds would be released, they also send a liquidation report to the PCSO.

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TAGS: Archdiocese of Cebu, Church, Pajero bishops, PCSO, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)
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