Vatican donation doesn’t go to Ondoy victims

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An ongoing Rappler investigation shows that church donations may not have gone to its intended recipients. In the latest development, investigative reporter Aries Rufo obtains a ledger report which shows Vatican donations intended for victims of 2009 typhoon Ondoy [international codename Ketsana] never reached them. The ledger shows the Vatican’s Pontifical Council Cor Unum for Human and Christian Development donated 10,000 euro or P697,500. The remittances to typhoon victims show only about 16% or around P263,000 of the total P1.6 million in donations had been disbursed. The balance, which includes the donations from the Vatican, was “reclassified” to the Caritas account which contains other donations from various sources. The Caritas account is deposited in a Bank of the Philippine Islands special account. The balance sheet of the diocese shows it had P91.5 million in its BPI special deposit account. Members of the Paranaque clergy and lay leaders accuse Bishop Jesse Mercado of diverting the money. They want Rome to investigate the alleged misappropriation, which violates Church law on donations. Rappler first reported this on June 18. Mercado denies the allegations and says “all donations have receipts and are promptly turned over to their intended beneficiaries.”

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