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Arroyo urged to break silence on SUV scandal

MANILA,Philippines (July 12, 2011) — Some Catholic bishops urged former President Gloria Arroyo to break her silence on allegations that she gave vehicles to some bishops for political patronage.

Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez said the former president should tell her side of the story because she has more knowledge on the issue.

The current Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office board claimed that Arroyo used its funds to gather allegiance at the time when she was facing ouster calls due to alleged corruption.

It also accused Arroyo, now Pampanga representative, of also donating vehicles to at least seven bishops for allegiance.

“To hear the side of GMA will help (us) to have the truth,” said Iñiguez.

For his part, retired Bishop Teodoro Bacani said that Arroyo’s testimony can shed light on the matter which has seriously affected the credibility of the Church.

“She really has to explain. I think it would be better for the bishops if she will tell her reasons (for donating SUVs to some prelates),” Bacani said.

Both Church officials, however, admitted that it would not be easy for Arroyo to talk on the issue.

“Her silence is her best self-defense,” Iñiguez said.

“I doubt it,” according to Bacani. (CBCPNews)