An article circulating on Facebook claimed that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) refused to donate a small drug rehab facility despite owning P30-billion worth of BPI shares.
Showbiz Government shared that post.
So did another Facebook fan page called Solid Rodrigo Duterte Fighters, which captioned its post with this: “CBCP doesn’t want to donate mainly because they only want to receive money from the people. They do not know how to give their blessings back!” The said post has earned over 2,000 shares, as of posting.
The article was published by a blog called newsmediaph. It claimed that the Roman Catholic Church is mainly about collecting donations from its members, while refusing to use its wealth to help those in need.
The article further claimed that a top DSWD official revealed that the CBCP rejected the agency’s appeal for the church to “donate at least one drug rehabilitation center in CALABARZON.” The source reportedly claimed that the CBCP said it has no money and “is not a charity organization” so it cannot donate anything involving President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against drugs.
The article also pointed out how the CBCP is the “eight biggest stock holder” of BPI with stocks worth P30 billion on top of stocks worth P55 million in other companies, such as Philex Petroleum, First Philippine Holdings, Central Azucarera de Tarlac, and Concrete Aggregates Corp.
The said source also revealed that DSWD asked the church to donate a “100-bed drug rehabilitation center in Batangas” with an estimated cost of P350,000 to P400,000.
The sources cited by News Media PH are itself and ABS CBN, although it was unable to provide a link to the latter.
We Googled the issue and the first article that popped up is definitely not from ABS-CBN. It was from OKD2 and other blogs also carried the same article.
We checked OKD2 and it has exactly the same article, which was published on October 24.
We tried to verify OKD2’s claims but we could not find any report about DSWD asking the church to donate in the first place.
What we found, though, is an Inquirer report on July 12 about how the church offers counseling and spiritual direction in contribution to a drug user’s holistic intervention for rehab. The church admitted to not being equipped with the infrastructure for drug rehab, but it offered to provide counseling to the families of the drug users.
In a September 15 report from GMA News Online, the CBCP President Archbishop Socrates Villegas called on drug users to surrender to the church to avoid getting killed. This was later clarified by the dean of San Beda’s Graduate School of Law, Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, who said that Villegas’ call was for drug dependents who are “willing to surrender but were afraid to ask the assistance of the Church that would see to their orderly surrender and at the same time the protection of their rights.”
While the part claiming that the CBCP has billions in stocks is true, that story about CBCP refusing to make a donation for a drug rehab center and DSWD asking the church to do it in the first place is totally made up. Seeing as how it was published by OKD2, this is enough cause to be suspicious. Just look at OKD2’s disclaimer and “About” page. This could easily be one of the “very rare cases” when the site publishes some fiction.
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