BUTUAN CITY — Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, DD, on Wednesday admitted having received from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) a sports utility vehicle (SUV) worth P1.7 million as a birthday gift from former President and now incumbent Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“Nahibalo man about ana ang Caraga Conference for Peace and Development (CCPD) – nga akong gitukod – nga daghan ang natabangan... didto gigamit ng sakyanan nga hatag sa PCSO through President Arroyo," said Pueblos in an interview on dxBR Bombo Radyo on Wednesday.
(The CCPD – which I organized and has served a lot of beneficiaries – knew that the car given to me by the PCSO through then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was used for the CCPD's activities.)
"Close" to Arroyo
Pueblos suspected that his closeness with Arroyo may have something to do with the trouble he is now facing.
The bishop said Arroyo attended three of his birthday celebrations in Butuan City and in one of those occasions, he requested in a letter addressed to the former President, a vehicle for community service.
Pueblos said Arroyo also appointed him as a member of a fact-finding team to investigate extra-judicial killings in the country.
He used the vehicle in investigating killings in far-flung areas.
“Didto me sa nagkalaing-laing dapit aron mag-investigate niadtong extra judicial killings nagamit nako ang maong sakyanan (The vehicle was a big help in our investigation on extrajudicial killings in far-flung areas.)
Pueblos claimed that he did not see anything wrong with the Arroyo administration providing him a vehicle to accomplish tasks for the government.
He criticized President Benigno Aquino III for being "vindictive" and going after people allied with the former president.
Pueblos said the Filipino people will soon know who Aquino really is and that an exposé against Aquino will be out before the president delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25.
During the radio interview, Pueblos said he is in Manila for the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Plenary Assembly, where the issue raised against him and other bishops will be tackled.
Bishop Pueblos said the CBCP will be coming up with a press statement on the matter, adding that: “This issue has already divided and damaged CBCP." — Ben Serrano/LBG/VVP, GMA News