It looks like the head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, is making a mistake in asking the faithful not to condemn those accused in the P 10 billion pork barrel scam.
He was specifically referring to Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada who are now facing plunder charges before the Sandiganbayan for their alleged involvement in the pork scam. I have no doubt in my mind that his plea not to condemn these rascals also include the most guilty of them all, the mastermind, Janet Lim Napoles.
Villegas’ reasoning seems out of whack, saying, “As Christians, we are exhorted to love at all times, even those who sin and err, for none of us is above human frailty. We embrace all who have wronged society as our brothers and sisters and continue to pray, that as God’s people, we may all walk the path of conversion and renewal.”
But the wrong committed by these people are no ordinary sin or human weakness. This was done deliberately and for a number of years, as if kickback is a lawful practice and enshrined in the constitution.
A politician in congress worth his salt would know what for and where his enormous Priority Development Assistant Fund (PDAF) is going. He makes sure that because of the enormity of the amount, that it be properly accounted and implemented where it is intended for. He knows that the money comes from the people and it is only proper that it should go back to them in the form of development projects.
But for political leaders without scruples, they just can’t part with the money without making sure that a percentage goes back to them. Whether the money goes to a bogus non governmental organization or not is the least of worry for the culprits. This is how Napoles and her ilk has been manipulating the PDAF holders, scandalously enriching herself and the donor-politician at the expense of the needy farmers and fisher folks and to the poor people in general living in misery.
Is this human frailty or is this an inherent ability of the “pork” suspects to deceive the people and defraud the government to their advantage without modicum of compunction?
Pray for their conversion and renewal?
These people are knowledgeable scam artists, who take advantage even of the poor, considering what we have read of their misdeeds.
Conversion and renewal inside the calaboose will perhaps work, but, prayers for experienced offenders, I doubt.
Therefore, being strongly implicated in the P 10 billion pork barrel scam and accused of plunder is, indeed, a condemnable act.
There is no if and buts about it.