Category Archives: Constitution

7 Bishops Vindicated

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In the July 13, 2011 Senate hearing, Senator Teofisto Guingona III put CLOSURE to the controversy by ruling: (1) there were no pajeros SUVs; (2) no violation of the Constitution since the beneficiaries were the poor not the Bishops; (3) Juico’s accusation was without basis – factual or legal; (4) PCSO is responsible for the pain, anguish and shame felt by the 7 bishops.

How does one repair the damage inflicted on one’s reputation?

We pray for those who judged rashly the bishops.

103rd Bishops Plenary Assembly (BPA)

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The 103rd BPA was held on 9-11 July 2011, Pope Pius XII Catholic Center, Manila.

Attendance: 82 of 98 active members (83.67%) and 7 of 35 honorary members.  Total: 89.

a)      President’s Address.  CBCP President Bishop Nereo Odchimar spoke on same sex marriage, contraceptives, divorce.  These indicate shift in priority of values, moral relativism and loss of sense of God.

b)      Msgr. Gábor Pintér, chargé d’ affaires a.i., transmitted Pope Benedict XVIs message to the bishops.  Pope encouraged bishops to defend human life, sacredness of marriage and of family.  Papal Nuncio Pinto will arrive inManilaon 15 July 2011.

c)      Mission Sunday Collections to be remitted in “their entirety to the P.M.S. director who will then forward them without any deduction and through established channels to the Superior Council of the said societies” (Ivan Card. Dias, prefect, Congregatio Pro Gentium Evangelizatione).

d)     Antonio Card. Canizeres Llovera, Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, issued on 22 February 2011 the Decree granting “Recognitio” (confirmation) to the English Language Translation Text of the Missale Romanum.  This new English translation will be implemented on First Sunday of Advent 2012 (Dec. 2).

e)      Pontificio Collegio Filippino is asking a donation of P20,000 every 3 years from Marbel Diocese.

f)       CBCP approved Pastoral Letter on Aids.  1st Sunday of Advent is Aids Sunday.  CBCP also approved a statement on the 7 Bishops vs. PCSO.

g)      Fr. Amado Picardal, CSsR, is the newBEC Executive Secretary.  His 4-year term starts June 2011.  BEC National Assembly, 11-13 October 2011, Maryhill, Taytay, Rizal.

h)      CBCP approved by 66 votes inclusion in Ordo Optional Memorial of Blessed John Paul II.

i)        National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy on 12-15 September 2011, Boracay, Aklan.

j)        CBCP’s Major officers for Dec. 1, 2011 – Nov. 30, 2013.  President – Archbishop Jose Palma,Cebu; Vice-Pres. – Abp. Socrates Villegas, Lingayen, Dagupan; Treasurer – Bishop John Du, Dumaguete; Secretary-General – Msgr. Joselito Asis, the incumbent ASecGen.

k)      House’s Stand on RH Bill as of 08 June 2011.

                                                     Against                   Pro                                       Unclear stand

            Political Parties           117                           70                                         39

            Party Lists                       16                            35                                          5

            Total                               133                           105                                        44

                                    Rep. Pacquaio             Rep. Avance-Fuentes              Rep. Acharon, Jr.

l)        7 Bishops vs PCSO

Ms. Margarita Juico, PCSO, Chair, accused 7 bishops of violating the constitutional provision on separation of Church and State by accepting 7 pajeros SUV from the PCSO in 2009 under the Arroyo Administration.

Facts:

  1. Bishop Rodolfo Beltran, Bontoc-Lagawe used the P600,000 from PCSO to purchase a secondhand 10-year old Nissan Pathfinder pick-up, cost: P280,000.  Vehicle used for medical missions in far-flung areas.  Remaining funds used for Alay Kapwa programs.
  2. Bp. Leopoldo Jaucian, Bangued, Abra.  Received P1.129 million.  Bought Mitsubishi Strada pick up utility vehicle.  Cost: P1.107M.  Used to transport personnel and carry needed materials for service missions to the poor and needy constituents of Abra province.
  3. Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo.  Received P1.44M.  Purchased aToyotaGrandia Hi-Ace.  Cost: P1.4M.  Used forSocialActionCenterfor distribution of medicines and relief goods to disaster hit areas.  And for community health programs in the provinces of Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato,CotabatoCityand Shariff Kabungsuan.
  4. Bp. Martin Jumoad, Basilan.  Received P1.125M.  Bought a Mitsubishi Strada pick-up utility vehicle.  Cost: P1.22M.  Used for medical and health missions and community visitations to the indigent communities in Basilan.
  5. Abp. Romulo Walles, Zamboanga.  Received: P1.54M.  PurchasedToyotaHi-Ace Grandia.  Cost: P1.518M.  Used to deliver project services to BECs, especially medical-related services in Zamboanga.
  6. Bp. Juan de DiosPueblos, Butuan.  Received: P1.704M.  Bought a Mitsubishi Montero.  Cost: P. 1.629M.  For community and health program in CARAGA, especially the poor in far-flung areas who need health and medical services.
  7. Abp. Ernesto Salgado, Vigan, IlocosSur.  Received: P720,000 as financial assistance to Caritas, Nueva Segovia (Ilocos Sur).  Sr. Lilian Carranza, OSB bought an Isuzu Crosswind utility vehicle. Cost: P720,000.  For health, dental and medical outreach programs for indigents in IlocosSur.

CBCP’s position.  Receiving financial assistance from PCSO for the poor and needy is not a violation of the Constitution.  Beneficiaries are the poor – citizens of the State.  Any benefit accruing the bishops is only incidental.  Neither is it immoral.  To return or not the vehicle is left to the decision of the 7 bishops.

The 7 bishops’ decisions – (1) attend the Senate hearing on July 13, 2011; (2) apologize to the faithful and CBCP for the pain and confusion; (3) return the vehicles ASAP.