VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Rehashed story on bishop receiving PCSO funds MISLEADING

A recycled report published by website claiming that a Roman Catholic bishop who benefitted from Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) money also happens to be a top investor at Ayala Corp., is misleading.’ story is over eight years old and it misleads readers because it is being shared amid fresh allegations of corruption within the PCSO. The whole report was lifted from a July 15, 2011 GMA News Online article that discovered, through Philippine Stock Exchange records, that the clergyman had shares valued at P8 million at Ayala Corp. at the time.

The story was posted last June but modified on July 28, and bore the headline, “Bishop who got PCSO funds was a top Ayala stockholder.” It claims retired Tuguegarao Bishop Diosdado Talamayan, who had sought and received at least P200,000 from PCSO for the creation of his Cagayan retirement home, has invested millions in one of the country’s oldest and largest conglomerates and was among its top 100 shareholders.

It also noted that the PCSO board in 2009 had granted Talamayan’s request for financial assistance intended for the “operational expenses” for a retirement home he was building. The government charity again gave the bishop an undisclosed amount after he wrote to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo seeking more funds for the “finishing touches” of the said home, the article said.

The deceptive report surfaced as the PCSO faced allegations of corruption, which prompted President Rodrigo Duterte on July 26 to suspend PCSO-licensed gaming operations. The suspension was lifted after four days.’ story could have reached over 6.9 million people, with traffic to the story largely coming from the pages MOCHA USON BLOG, MOCHA USON BLOG Group, and SARA DUTERTE FOR PRESIDENT 2022 ELECTIONS. has been publishing stories since May 14.