07 Jul '11, 10am

Philippine bishops deny luxury cars were 'gifts'

MANILA - ROMAN Catholic bishops in the Philippines on Thursday denied they received luxury vehicles as gifts that had been paid for illegally by a former president who was trying to win political favour. State lottery officials alleged that bishops were given Mitsubishi Pajeros and large donations from then-president Gloria Arroyo in 2007 to 2010 to get their support during her impeachment crisis over alleged corruption and vote fraud. The cars and donations were allegedly financed using state lottery funds. 'Our conscience is clear,' said Bishop Nereo Odchimar, head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, in a letter to the Senate, which is holding public hearings on allegations that Ms Arroyo illegally used lottery cash. 'We truly believe there was no violation of the law.... we categorically deny that the funds were used to buy 'seven Pajeros' for the 'pe...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STI...

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