Cardinal Tagle gets emotional over pork barrel scam

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MANILA, August 13, 2013— The head of Manila’s Roman Catholic Church got teary-eyed as he joined calls for an investigation into the pork barrel scam involving some of the country’s lawmakers. 

Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle has again displayed a more emotional side of his personality Tuesday, condemning the alleged irregularity as “heartbreaking.” 

“Who will not be shocked with these reports and with the magnitude of money involved? Tagle said in a press conference on the upcoming Philippine Conference on New Evangelization. 

“It’s like your heart is broken into pieces. Can one really do this to one’s neighbor? Can one really stomach causing this kind of damage on the country?” he said. 

According to him, an investigation is necessary in order to determine the truth behind the allegations of corruption against some congressmen and senators. 

“It’s really necessary that this would be scrutinized and investigated including the past scandals that are in danger of being forgotten,” Tagle said.  

The cardinal then broke into tears when he challenged the politicians and those involved in the “intricate web” of corruption to visit the poor and slum areas. 

Tagle said those accused should get a real feel of the how the poor lives in order to realize how the hefty Priority Development Assistance Fund should be spent correctly. 

“My only appeal, not only to the politicians but to anyone involved in the controversy, is for them to visit the communities of informal settlers. Try walking there at night,” said Tagle. 

He added that a simple glimpse of a family unfolding carton boxes for them to have a place to sleep will already break their hearts.

“On my own, I just think those that are doing such things are capable because the poor is absent in their lives. Maybe they cannot see them or they don’t want to see them,” said Tagle. 

“But once they see them and even feel their suffering, maybe, they will at least be disheartened and moved by it,” he said. 

Cardinal Tagle also said that those involve in the multi-million pork barrel scam can still reform in significant ways. 

“I still believe that there is goodness in every person. You can be better than this. And you cannot deny it. There is goodness in you, which comes from God,” said Tagle. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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