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Philippines: some bishops want apology for sweepstakes scandal

Catholic World News - July 15, 2011

In the aftermath of a scandal that saw several Filipino bishops apologize for accepting cars and cash from the government’s Charity Sweepstakes Office, a few bishops demanded an apology from the head of that office for making inconsistent statements about the gifts to bishops.

President Begnino Aquino said that he saw no reason for his government to apologize, noting that the questionable gifts were discovered by the previous administration. The Filipino bishops’ conference carefully distanced itself from the call for an official apology, and a lawyer representing former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo urged the bishops to drop their argument.

The bishops who asked for an apology said that the chairman of the Charity Sweepstakes Office had harmed the Catholic Church by calling attention to the gifts to bishops. Seven bishops have agreed to return vehicles that they received from that office, which was legally prohibited from making charitable gifts to religious institutions.

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