Bishop who got PCSO funds has P12B in Ayala stocks

A bishop who sought and received Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds for his retirement home actually had millions invested in one of the country’s biggest conglomerates, data from the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) show.

According to PSE records obtained by GMA News Research, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Tuguegarao owns more than 24,000 common shares of Ayala Corp. currently valued at P8 million.

With those holdings, retired Tuguegarao Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan held about 0.0049 percent of the total shares of the company which ranked him 73rd in the Top 100 stockholders list of Ayala Corp.

Since Talamayan retired, he presumably no longer has control of the investments.




Letter to Gloria

In 2009, Talamayan asked then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for funds to finish a retirement home in conjunction with his 25th anniversary as a bishop.

It was earlier reported that some P200,000 from PCSO’s public relations fund were funneled into the “operational expenses” of a clergy retirement home in Solana town, Cagayan as requested by the bishop for the celebrations marking his 25th year as a Catholic bishop.

The money was disbursed despite the fact that the celebration’s organizers, in a letter to then PCSO director Ma. Fatima Valdes, only requested for P2,500 for the tickets to a fundraising dinner the diocese organized.

According to documents obtained by GMA News, Talamayan personally wrote former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a letter in 2009 requesting funds for the retirement home’s “finishing touches.”

“Our retirement home, which you helped construct, needs only the finishing touches. And I pray that God give me the graces to adjust smoothly to my new phase in my life,” the archbishop said in his letter to Arroyo.

In a resolution dated November 2009, the PCSO board decided to grant a request from the Office of the President specifying Talamayan’s wishes, but the exact amount of the grant was not disclosed. The board said the money will be charged to the PCSO Charity Fund which, according to its Charter, could only be used for “medical assistance and services and/or charities of national character.”

Dioceses as stockholders

The Archdiocese of Tuguegarao is just one of the Catholic archdioceses that hold substantial volumes of stocks in companies whose shares are traded on the PSE.

PSE data show that these own stocks in the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Philippine Airlines, San Miguel Corp. and PHILEX Mining Corp.

In BPI, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila ranks fourth on the bank’s list of Top 100 stockholders with more than 200 million shares currently valued at P17.3 billion, and represent 6.266 percent of the bank’s outstanding shares.

In an interview with GMA News’ Sandra Aguinaldo on “State of the Nation,” retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said there’s nothing wrong with the Church’s investments in local firms, since its wealth was merely inherited from Spanish friars over a century ago and was invested in strong companies to nurture it.

But in the view of columnist and staunch Reproductive Health Bill advocate Elizabeth Angsioco, these bishops had effectively deprived the poor of the financial help from PCSO when they, in fact, had the wealth to fund their needs.

“Nagulantang ako doon sa laki ng pera na nasa stocks. Bukod pa do’n, yung panghihingi nila doon sa PCSO, ang kinumpetensya nila, ay yung mga mahihirap na mamamayan,” Angsioco said in the same interview.

The P200,000 that went to Talamayan is ten times the P20,000-cap on PCSO’s Individual Medical Assistance Program.



Church investments in mining

While Cruz condoned the Church’s stock investments, he criticized the bishops’ holding of shares in mining firms.

“Ngayon nga ang mining nasalaula. [Ito] ay nakakasira ng environment. Palagay ko panahon na [para] kunin [ng mga obispo] nila ‘yun, ilabas na nila at i-invest nila sa iba naman,”
Cruz said.

Company # Shares Owned Rank in Top 100 Total Investment Value
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 222,843,681 4th 12,724,374,185
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (REAL CASA DE MISERICORDIA) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 41,408,841 8th 2,364,444,821
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA (HOSPITAL DE SAN JUAN DE DIOS) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 22,072,182 13th 1,260,321,592
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (HOSPICIO DE SAN JOSE) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 6,016,624 15th 343,549,230
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (HOSP DE SA JUAN DE DIOS) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 4,285,572 17th 244,706,161
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (MAYORDOMIA DELA CATEDRAL) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 2,664,266 21st 152,129,589
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (ST. PAUL`S HOSPITAL) Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 1,772,418 26th 101,205,068
CARMEL OF THE DIVINE INFANT JESUS OF PRAGUE, INC. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 726,819 49th 41,501,365
EL SUPERIOR DE LA CORPORACION FILIPINA DE PADRES AGUSTINOS RECOLETOS Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 551,382 60th 31,483,912
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF JARO Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) 491,385 64th 28,058,084
EL SUPERIOR DE LA CORPORACION FILIPINA DE PADRES AGUSTINOS RECOLETOS San Miguel Corp (SMC) 2,370,000 31st 260,700,000
SUPERIOR DE LA CORPORACION ARCHICOFRADIA DE N.P.J.N DE RECOLETOS San Miguel Corp (SMC) 1,234,603 75th 135,806,330
CARMEL OF THE DIVINE INFANT JESUS OF PRAGUE, INC. San Miguel Corp (SMC) 957,516 79th 105,326,760
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF TUGUEGARAO San Miguel Corp (SMC) 856,639 81st 94,230,290
REAL MONASTERIO DE LA PURISIMA CONCEPCION DE NUESTRA MADRE SANTA CLARA DE MANILA San Miguel Corp (SMC) 809,834 83rd 89,081,740
SUPERIOR DE LA CORPORACION DE PADRES RECOLETOS POR BECAS Y VOCACIONES San Miguel Corp (SMC) 621,702 89th 68,387,220
CARMEL OF ST THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS San Miguel Corp (SMC) 592,956 91st 65,225,160
THE DISCALCED CARMELITE NUNS OF CEBU San Miguel Corp (SMC) 451,864 95th 49,705,040
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF NUEVA SEGOVIA DE VIGAN San Miguel Corp (SMC) 428,067 98th 47,087,370
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA Philex Mining Corp (PX) 3,221,135 15th 66,677,495
RELIGIOUS OF THE VIRGIN MARY – B Philex Mining Corp (PX) 3,125,777 16th 64,703,584
RELIGIOUS OF THE VIRGIN MARY-A Philex Mining Corp (PX) 1,091,027 69th 22,584,259
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF TUGUEGARAO Ayala Corporation (AC) 24,015 73rd 9,289,002
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILS, INC. Ayala Corporation Preferred Shares – A (ACPA) 60,000 2nd 31,800,000
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF TAGBILARAN Ayala Corporation Preferred Shares – B (ACPR) 10,000 64th 1,015,000
DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY OF ST. VINCENT DE PAUL PHINMA Corp. (PHN) 159,575 19th 2,122,348
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF JUAN DE DIOS PHINMA Corp. (PHN) 153,880 20th 2,046,604
RELIGIOUS OF THE VIRGIN MARY PHINMA Corp. (PHN) 58,975 52nd 784,368
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA Concrete Aggregates Corp (CA) 78,846 9th 3,469,224
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (REAL CASA DE MISERICORDIA) Concrete Aggregates Corp (CA) 13,067 18th 574,948
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA (HOSPITAL DE SAN JUAN DE DIOS) Concrete Aggregates Corp (CA) 8,317 24th 365,948
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (HOSPICIO DE SAN JOSE) Concrete Aggregates Corp (CA) 1,898 66th 83,512
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MLA (MAYORDOMIA DELA CATEDRAL) Concrete Aggregates Corp (CA) 841 97th 37,004
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA ISM Communications (ISM) 38,399 48th 126,333
SOCIETY OF THE DIVINE WORD Filipino Fund Inc. (FFI) 6,000 24th 48,000
ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF BANGUED Filipino Fund Inc. (FFI) 1,500 49th 12,000
CATHOLIC WOMENS LEAGUE Benguet Corp. – A (BC) 215 53rd 4,107
CORPORACION DE PADRES DOMINICOS EEI 75,000 75th 256,500

Source: pinoymoneytalk.com

According to PSE data, the Archbishop of Manila, the Archbishop of Zamboanga and two accounts of the Religious of the Virgin Mary have stocks in PHILEX. Together, the 8.5 million shares of the group in the leading mining firm amount to more than P200 million.

Ironically, several bishops in the past were some of the staunchest oppositionists to the mining industry, especially in Eastern Visayas. In 2010, at least six bishops led the charge against mining permits issued in Samar and Leyte, citing the potential harm the activity could inflict on the environment.

The bishops include Palo Archbishop Jose Palma, Catarman Bishop Emmanuel Trance, Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez, Maasin Bishop Precioso Cantillas, Calbayog Bishop Isabelo Abarquez, and Naval Bishop Felomino Bactol.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines even carried the bishops’ statement on its own website.

“As shepherds of our flock, it is our collective sentiments that the continuing drive for development of the Eastern Visayas region anchored on mining as well as other extractive economic pursuits, only reinforce the irreversible trend of permanently damaging nature’s endowments,” according to the CBCP.

“As a consequence, the many lines of opportunities upon which our people can draw their life sustenance will definitely be threatened immensely,” the CBCP added

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