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A bishop in the southern Archdiocese of Cotabato today admitted accepting “donations” from the Charity Sweepstakes Office under the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal0-Arroyo.
“Yes, I received an ambulance in December 2009. I asked [the] president … for it,” said Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo.
The bishop said he saw nothing wrong in accepting donations from the government if they were used to benefit the community, adding that he had also accepted money – about 50 million to 100 million pesos (US$1.2-2.4 million) – from the administration of another president, Corazon Aquino, which was used to build schools.
He clarified that he specifically asked Arroyo for an ambulance to service a home for the aged, not a sport utility vehicle for personal use.
The Commission on Audit said recently the previous administration gave “gifts” to congressmen and religious leaders in the form of ambulances and SUVs, apparently to win their support.