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Poor Well Taken Care Of From Gambling Fees. 2005-09-05
Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla issued this past Saturday following reports that Capalla and two senior bishops received money from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor). Capalla responded by saying that he did receive financial donations from Pagcor. However in the same breath he said, but the money went to the poor. Not a single centavo went into the pockets of any of the clergymen.
According a written source, Capalla, Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, and Pampanga Archbishop Paciano Aniceto received money from Pagcor from P100, 000 to P500, 000 as "Christmas gifts." The church seems to run financial assistance through the state-run gambling institution. The Archbishop said that they cooperate with the association to help programs for the poor.
Capalla said he had expected the Pagcor to come out with a list of bishops or clergymen who received Pagcor donations. Of course now that is out in the open he is not bothered by the situation, because the money was used towards helping the poor.
Like Vidal, Capalla said he was proud the money went to the poor, even if it means that people would say something about it. The last time the company sent those donations was in November 2003. This all occurred around a time when the clergymen were called to testify before the Senate Blue Ribbon. They were called to testify in front of the committee regarding the alleged misuse of funds by Pagcor.
The church believes that gambling is not immoral. They do believe though that addiction is the problem, hurting the families today, and creating poorer people. Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz disagrees, and says that gambling, in whatever form is immoral, even if the money goes to a good cause. The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has denounced gambling, so this puts these clergy men in a bit of trouble.
(By Andrea)