Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bishops' Cars

One of the controversies that rocked the Roman Catholic Church is the issue on bishops receiving funds from the Philippine Charity Sweeptakes Office (PCSO) which they used to buy their service vehicles. Though reasons varied, I believe those cars were used for good intentions and not for luxury as some would like us to believe. With good or reliable cars, the bishops can visit the remotest areas in their turf without worries. The cars were a necessity rather than a luxury. With a number of far-flung communities to visit, I don't think carabao cart is effective. Only morons say it is effective.

A senate committee inquired into the case. But the bishops signified to return the cars. This was learned after they were invited by the senate to explain their side on the issue. Meanwhile, in a letter read to the media very recently, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) asked forgiveness from their faithful.

The PCSO has been extending charity funds to indigent sectors and non-government organizations doing community-oriented activities and programs. I guess this one of the beauty of having PCSO. Perhaps, one problem with the controversy was that the bishops did not belong to the less fortunate sectors in the society. Neither do they belong to the NGO although the RC has been in various social action programs and services since 1969 right after the All-India conference or even earlier. Even then, the RC does not fall within the category that the PCSO is giving support. 

Of ethical issue is that the funds of PCSO come from the game of chance or gambling. Although legal, in my humble opinion, that remains a form of gambling and therefore it is ethically or morally questionable fro bishops who should admonish people who engage in any form of game of chance. Well, I don't want to expound on it. But the RC hierarchy should learn from this ugly lesson and perhaps start saving to fund for the purchase of the bishops' cars or SUVs.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Punching Lady Mayor of Davao City

It is our very own Mayor Sarah Duterte who is hogging headlines recently after she threw her version of power punches to a sheriff who led a demolition of shanties Davao City last week.

The punching incident stemmed from the request of the mayor to delay the demolition but was not granted. The mayor wanted to avoid casualties during demolition as what happened to other demolitions in other cities in the country. With problem on economic livelihood and homelessness, squatters are a headache to address by all local government units in the country. But if possible through a peaceful and bloodless way.

Afterall, it was not a matter of life and death situation where the demolition team or the sheriff for that matter could not wait for the mayor to come over to negotiate with all parties involved. Efforts were exerted to contact the court judge handling the demolition case but she was not answered. Then came the sheriff that refused to grant the request of the mayor to wait for 2 hours as she was in a relief operation for the flashflood victims of Davao. Fuming mad as she was, the mayor pounded on the sheriff.

The incident fueled discussions. The social networkings, for instance, are teeming with comments in support to the mayor's action as "justified" and those which disagreed. What if you were in her shoes, would you do the same?

Updates claimed that the mayor is on leave to give way for the investigation that the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) would be conducting.