13 July 2011

Missing the Point Entirely

Priest Briefing
This morning, everyone in the blogosphere was hopeful that the Senate will be able to find out today (13 July 2011) the truth behind the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) fund scandal that implicated seven Catholic bishops. Thirty-minutes into the hearing, quite a number of bloggers were disappointed. Some even find it a waste of time.

Instead of asking the right set of questions and get to the bottom of all these spiritual mess, all we hear are disingenuous, smug, arrogant, supercilious, self-righteous suggestions from the elected ones. Are they scared of the holy wrath that will condemn their soul to eternal damnation?

Oh, boy! If I knew then that we will be electing a bunch of breathless media luvvies I would not have bothered voting. Most of the elected lawmakers are trying to pretend that the charity programs by the "men in robe" would erase the fact that they used public funds to purchase luxurious vehicles. They made no distinction about the separation of church and state and thought that the money was put to good use based solely on the accounts of the priestly mouths. Worse, they made no conception of the hardships most people are going through right now. To them, giving money to the 7 priests for their so-called "charitable endeavors" is an academic exercise.

One lawmaker even tried to turn the provision of the Constitution the other way. Article VI Section 29 (2) of the Constitution decrees that no public funds will be allocated for USE, BENEFIT OR SUPPORT OF ANY SECT OR RELIGIOUS GROUP. It does not matter if the funds did not advance any religion because the purpose was for charity, although this is still debatable. The fact is government resources were given to the seven priests and they used those funds to procure ALL-TERRAIN UTILITY VEHICLES (AUVs). Whichever way you look at this, it violates the provision of the Constitution.

Perhaps the most offensive of all the suggestions during the Senate hearing is that the “bishops reconsider their decision to return the vehicles since these are being used for charity and other missions”. What in blazes are they smoking in the Senate grounds right now? Those bishops do not have right to any public resources. They are not even paying taxes. There are more worthy non-governmental institutions that deserved government assistance and are amenable to be audited by public officials.

Let us cut all this bullshit and scrape the truth from seven deadly sins. This is not even about whether the PCSO official erred in releasing to the media that the priests received Mitsubishi Pajeros, instead of their cheaper counterparts. This oversight was excusable and not the subject of the hearing. This is about the public funds that the priest received and the services that they are supposed to render as payment for this generous donation.

We have enough of this blatant display of shallow and selective hearing. Let us ditch all this puerile sectarian nonsense and FIND OUT WHAT WAS PAID IN RETURN and TO WHOM THEY PAID IT.