Thursday, August 05, 2010


Do you remember that stinging pastoral letter by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) entitled "Thou Shalt Not Steal," and how it has come and gone like wafts of perfectly-shaped smoke rings?

Opposition firebrand Homobono 'Bono' Adaza assailed that pastoral letter as mere ningas cogon and challenged church leaders to follow up on the message to give meaning to their avowals to fight graft and corruption in government.

Adaza said the church could institute the following to supply essence and determination to the pastoral letter.

1. Reject Pagcor and Malacanang money said to be regularly flowing to church coffers;
2. Refuse enrolment in Catholic schools to children of known crooked officials and private citizens;
3. Read in all parishes and cause to be published in newspapers names of officials accused or otherwise openly known as crooks and grafters and;
4. Deny church sacraments to such crooks and grafters.

The combative Bono, to whom the Cory regime owes much for its defeat of the Marcos forces but who was later junked for his refusal to be a mere "yes man," volunteered his legal services to church leaders and other persons who could be charged with libel for that proposed public listing of suspected crooked officials.

He also wondered why the late Cardinal Sin did not publicly endorse the pastoral letter. Bono asked if this was because the Pagcor contributions to the church were being sent through the Cardinal's office. He noted that Sin, who had been vociferous in his attacks against gambling casinos even during the Marcos years, suddenly reversed himself when the late President Corazon Aquino took over and justified gambling if done only as entertainment (like mah-jong?). Bono said that justification came coincidental to the start of church contributions from Pagcor.

Bad habits are hard to break, and already we should keep an eye on the movements of Pagcor which contributes millions a month to the President's Social Fund. A lot of sosyalan for P-Noy and his peons there.