HOAX: ‘CBCP-owned’ stocks
Claim: Fifteen offices with “CBCP-owned” stocks are among the top 100 stockholders of San Miguel Corporation.
Facebook user Delmar Topinio Tacloban on June 27 uploaded a photo showing the “ranking” with the post titled “Gargantuan and Mind Boggling Billion Investments of the Catholic Church in the Philippines Tax Free.”
Tacloban expressed a “distressing thought” that the Catholic Church “take(s) money from wealthy Filipinos and then have a portion of that dispatched to a foreign government” while untaxed.
Facebook page “One Million Voices Against CBCP,” which is followed by 4,522 users, is creditted at the bottom portion of the photo.
The post garnered 255 reactions, 3,245 shares, and 32 comments as of July 5.
The facts: All mentioned stockholders are independent of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). Bishops of Tuguegarao and Nueva Segovia de Vigan have indeed stocks placed in SMC as reported by Rappler in January 2015. But, it does not make the stocks “CBCP-owned” since the organization is just a coordinating body and does not have power over individual bishops.
The remaining 13 dioceses and congregations are managed by priests or nuns, who are not part of CBCP.
Father Marvin Mejia, CBCP secretary general, told Rappler that there is no such "entity" as “CBCP-owned” groups. He clarified that the organization is a non-stock, non-profit and is “separately registered” in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from the church’s dioceses and congregations.
“If [they] have properties, the Conference has no ownership of them....The CBCP does not own stocks in San Miguel,” he added.
Tacloban’s post is based on a January 11, 2015, PinoyMoneyTalk blog post which also presented the stocks owned by various church offices.
The 15 offices hold the following ranks according to SMC’s list of stockholders as of March 31. Some of the listed offices may have stocks in other companies, and not in SMC. For example, Religious of the Virgin Mary A and B are listed in the photo, but according to the PinoyMoneyTalk post, their stocks are placed in Philex Mining Corporation.
|Mentioned office||Rank in SMC's top 100 list as of March 31|
|El Superior de la Corporacion Fillipina de Padres Agustinos Recolectos||Not in top 100|
|Superior de la Corporacion Archicofradia de N.P.J.N de Recoletos||Not in top 100|
|Carmel of the Divine Infant Jesus of Prague, Inc. 2||15|
|Roman Catholic Bishop of Tuguegarao||17|
|Real Monasterio De La Purisima Concepcion De Nuestra Madre Santa Clara De Manila||18|
|Superior De La Corporacion De Padres Recoletos Por Becas Y Vocaciones||Not in top 100|
|Carmel of St. Therese of the Child Jesus||24|
|The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Cebu||28|
|Roman Catholic Bishop of Nueva Segovia de Vigan||Not in top 100|
|Carmel of our Lady, Mary Mediatrix of All Grace, Inc.||34|
|Religious of the the Virgin Mary||38|
|Superior de la Corporacion de Padres Recolectos Para la Obra Piadosa de Pia Guidote||Not in top 100|
|Carmel of the Divine Infant Jesus of Prague, Inc.||44|
|Superior de la Corporacion de Padres Recolectos Por Las Becas de Nicolas Y Felisa de Agrezor||Not in top 100|
|Religious of the the Virgin Mary - A||52|
The specific period of SMC’s top 100 list that the “ranking” was based on was not mentioned in the post.
Rappler has published a two-part in-depth series of the Philippine Catholic Church’s wealth in January 2015. "Can we know how rich the Catholic Church is?" and "Billions of pesos in Church funds locked in stocks" were written by the late Aries Rufo.
The Facebook page “BOSS” also posted the claim. BOSS was checked by Rappler recently for posting a fake “exchange” between President Rodrigo Duterte and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
This has been the 7th church-related story Rappler has checked since Fr Richmond Nilo’s death on June 10. (READ: Propagandists target Catholic Church after Duterte rant vs God) — Miguel Imperial, with reports from Paterno Esmaquel II/Rappler.com
Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.