MANILA, Philippines – Television host Willie Revillame has donated P100,000 to a campaign to help raise funds to buy vehicles for some Catholic bishops, a church-run news service said Wednesday.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines' CBCPNews described Revillame, who recently came under fire over alleged child abuse, of being one of "generous philanthropists" in a fund-raising campaign for the purchase of the vehicles.
Seven bishops who were implicated in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) fund mess have returned the vehicles they bought from money given under the Arroyo administration.
Lawyer Romulo Macalintal and former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza are leading the fund-raising campaign.
They want to raise P8.2 million, the same amount that the bishops got from the PCSO to buy the vehicles.
Aside from Revillame, others who have also donated to the campaign are were Senator Vicente Sotto (P200,000), Senator Francis Escudero (P100,000), Radyo Veritas (P100,000), Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing (P100,000), former Senator Ernie Maceda (P10,000), and the eldest son of the late Ramon Mitra (P50,000).
The CBCP said Senator Bong Revilla and his wife, Cavite Representative Lani Mercado, also pledged to give P200,000.
Meanwhile, Macalintal revealed that he got sad by the statements made by Fr. Robert Reyes and Fr. Edu Gariguez over the P50,000 donation given by a son of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, party-list Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo.
"In my 27 years service in the ministry of the liturgy in the Catholic Church, I have been taught by our priests and the Bible not to be judgmental which obviously is expected of a priest,” he said.
Gariguez, executive secretary of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, said the "prelates should refuse the financial aid partially funded by younger Arroyo."
"This is more embarrassing for the Catholic Church that there would be money coming from the Arroyos. This is why in this early stage, we are already saying that we are against it,” he said.
"If you will ask me, it would be better if I would ride a bicycle," Gariguez added.
Reyes, on the other hand, said that "church leaders should not choose convenience over propriety and morality because it would make them weak and vulnerable."