Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Church won’t accept money from candidates, say three bishops

By Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:34:00 03/17/2010

Filed Under: Churches (organisations), Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Politics, Inquirer Politics

Original Story:

MANILA, Philippines—Candidates' money, seemingly overflowing this campaign season, will not be welcome during the Catholic Church's Palm Sunday fundraising activities for the poor, according to several bishops.

The Catholic Church celebrates “Alay Kapwa Sunday” on Palm Sunday (March 28), during which it encourages the faithful to reach out to their neighbors, to show their love, not just in word but in deed.

Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad said he would reject any offer of money for the Alay Kapwa Sunday from politicians. The event will be used to collect funds for victims of calamities.

Jumoad also implored the candidates not to use the occasion just to boost their "pro-poor" image for the forthcoming election.

“I am appealing to our politicians not to use Alay Kapwa just to make it appear as if they are for the poor, and to go to Church on Palm Sunday under that pretense and give money for the poor. I hope it would not be that day. They can do that after the elections,” Jumoad said in an interview over Radio Veritas.

He said Alay Kapwa was sacred because during this event, the Church was focusing on the life and dignity of the poor.

According to him, if the politicians really want to help, they could better show it through actions rather than just brandishing cash.

“I will not accept any donation for Alay Kapwa especially those from politicians. I will never accept this. It is not right that we or the Church accept donations from politicians, especially now that the elections are near,” he said.

“I challenge [politicians], if they are really sincere in joining the Church's Alay Kapwa, they should go to the victims of calamities, to the hospitals and buy medicine to give out to the less fortunate who cannot afford these. That is the real Alay Kapwa,” he added.

In a separate Radio Veritas interview, Baguio Bishop Carlito Cenzon said he would also reject the politicians' money if he knew that it was tainted.

“That is the principle. For example, if it came from gambling, drugs, ill-gotten wealth. etcetra, we would not accept that,” Cenzon said.

Marbel Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez shared Cenzon's position.

Many aspirants for public office have been courting the poor, or promising to uplift their lot, as they go around the nation to solicit the people's votes.

Original Story:

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