CBCP sets Sept 7 as 'day of atonement' for corruption
MANILA, Philippines - In the wake of the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is urging the nation to atone for graft and corruption which it described as "immoral" and a "social cancer."
In a pastoral statement, the CBCP said it is "immoral" to continue the pork barrel as it is a "fertile ground" for graft and corruption.
"Promoting the politics of patronage, it is contrary to the principles of stewardship, transparency and accountability. It is immoral to continue this practice," the CBCP said.
It said "God has been offended" by the citizens and elected public officials tagged into the controversy since they have violated the Commandments against lying and stealing.
The CBCP has urged the public to make September 7 as a day of atonement for these "sins against peace" in the country.
"Stealing destroys peace. Lying harms our peace. Government corruption is an act of terrorism against our poor and our children," the CBCP said.
"Our first response to the pork barrel issue must be not protest but contrition. We are not just victims of a corrupt system. We have all, in one way or another, contributed to this worsening social cancer—through our indifferent silence or through our cooperation when we were benefiting from the sweet cake of graft and corruption."
The alleged pork barrel scam involves the transfer of lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) for ghost projects.
The Commission on Audit (COA) revealed in a special report that nearly 200 legislators coursed over P6 billion to 82 NGOs, several of which were reportedly dubious.
Some of these NGOs have been linked to businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind.
Napoles has been detained at Fort Sto. Domingo in Laguna after surrendering to President Benigno Aquino III last week in connection with the serious illegal detention charges filed against her by scam whistle-blower Benhur Luy.