Monday, April 16, 2018


Billions of pesos in Church funds locked in stocks

(UPDATED) The Church has investments in banking, oil, energy, information technology, food and beverages, construction, and mining
Published 7:30 AM, January 11, 2015
Updated 2:53 PM, January 11, 2015
  • One of the richest dioceses in the world, the Archdiocese of Manila leads the way, with its hospitals and other companies engaged in the stock market
  • As of December 29, 2014, the value of stocks of the archdiocese and its subsidiary companies parked in different companies listed in the PSE amounted to more than P30 billion
  • The Archdiocese of Manila decided to pull out investments in oil and mining to be consistent with its teachings
  • The Church now has a “negative list” where investments should not be placed because these “go against Church teachings.” These include firms that engage in mining, gambling, and child labor.

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – In the repair and renovation of the Manila Cathedral, not a single centavo was spent by the Archdiocese of Manila.
Big-time philanthropists shouldered 90% of the entire cost, according to former chief justice Artemio Panganiban, who was tapped by the Church to spearhead the fund-raising. When Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle gave the go-signal for the project, there was no money to spare.
“The Church has money for operations but not for construction,” Panganiban told Rappler.
To be sure, on its own, the archdiocese can well afford to finance the undertaking.
In fact, whenever the financial board of the Archdiocese of Manila sits down, its main agenda “is what to do with the money,” a long-time Church adviser relates.
Like other organized religions, one would be hard pressed to assume that the dominant faith in the country is lacking in resources. The more difficult challenge is to determine the actual worth of the Catholic Church, considering its errant financial reporting to regulatory bodies.
One way of assessing the financial status of the Church is through its stock investments, where companies are required to disclose their biggest stockholders. Although it does not capture the entire picture, it provides a bird’s eye-view of how much and where Church funds are.
Diversified investments
A check with the PSE showed that the Church is a major player in the stock market, with billions of pesos in funds locked in shares. It has investments in banking, oil, information technology, energy, food and beverages, construction, and mining.
Solidifying its reputation as still one of the richest dioceses in the world, the Archdiocese of Manila leads the way, with its hospitals and other companies engaged in the stock market. It can be argued that it is the most liquid among the dioceses in the Philippines.
As of December 29, 2014, the value of stocks of the archdiocese and its subsidiary companies parked in different companies listed in the PSE amounted to more than P30 billion.*
A money-oriented website,, has compiled an initial list of Church stocks in several blue chips companies, including BPI and energy firm First Philippine Holdings Inc.
Rappler scoured latest public disclosures and collated the following:
Table 1. Archdiocese of Manila’s stock investments
BPI327,904,251P30 billion
First Phil. Holdings463,238P41.64 million
Concrete Aggregates Corp.102,609P7.18 million
Central Azucarera de Tarlac42,652P3.97 million
Philex Petroleum402,641P2 million
ISM Communication Corp.56,020P84,030
Philodrill25,357,500P 456,435
Fifth biggest BPI owner
With BPI, the Archdiocese of Manila is the 5th largest stockholder, equivalent to 8.35% share.
The Archdiocese appears to have consolidated its share in BPI. Based on a December 31, 2010 disclosure, its percentage share was pegged at 6%, with 3 Church-run hospitals – Hospital de San Juan de Dios, Hospital de San Jose, and St Paul Hospital, owning less than 1% of the total share of stocks. Two other Church related entities – Real Casa Misericordia and Mayordomia deal Cathedral – also had substantial shares.
By September 30, 2014, these Church entities were no longer in the list of top 100 stockholders in the bank. Still, the Church investment is equivalent to one seat in the BPI board of directors. “The Church used to have 3 seats before but its shares have been diluted,” the Church financial adviser said.
With oil firm Philex Petroleum, the Archdiocese was number 14 in its list of 100 top stockholders as of April 2014. However, by September 2014, the Church had apparently divested its shares.
The archdiocese had earlier divested its share from Philex Petroleum’s sister company, Philex Mining Corporation, where it used to be number 16 in the top 100 stockholders. As of January 10, 2011, the archdiocese had more than 3 million shares in the mining firm. By June, 2011, the archdiocese was no longer on the list.
The Church financial adviser said that the archdiocese decided to divest from the oil and mining company to be consistent with its teachings. In 1998, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Phillippines issued a pastoral statement criticizing large-scale mining as destructive to the environment.
But some dioceses are not practicing what they’re preaching.
Bishop’s stocks
It's not only the Archdiocese of Manila that’s dabbling in stocks. The archdioceses of Zamboanga, Tuguegarao, Nueva Segovia de Vigan, Jaro, and the dioceses of Butuan and Sorsogon also have placements in the stock market.
Table 2. Stock investments per archdiocese/diocese
ZamboangaBPI269,982P25.378 million
Philex Mining1,116,147P8.426 million
Philex Petroleum139,518P703,170
JaroBPI491,385P46.19 million
TuguegaraoSan Miguel Corp.856,639P62.535 million
Ayala Corp.28,281P20 million
Nueva SegoviaSan Miguel Corp.428,067P31.248 million
ButuanPhinma153,880P1.539 million
While bishops and archbishops are only titular CEOs in their respective dioceses and ecclesiastical goods, in essence, are not their personal assets, retired Archbishop Diosdado Talamayan had stocks parked with Phinma under his name totalling 35,066 shares worth P350,660.
The reported Church shares listed above exclude investments that Catholic religious groups have placed in the stock market.
Based on the PSE disclosures, the Religious of the Virgin Mary rivals the Archdiocese of Manila in stock placements.
Negative lists
The Archdiocese of Manila’s financial empire was built by the late Cardinal Rufino Santos. Known as a financial genius, Santos spearheaded the Church’s diversification that included companies that, in hindsight, operate businesses that conflict with the Church teachings.
But things have changed since then.
The Church financial adviser said the Church has a “negative list” where investments should not be placed because these “go against Church teachings.” These include firms that engage in mining, gambling, and child labor.
The financial adviser admits that it took some time for the Church to be consciously selective about where to put its money, referring to its previous investments in Philex Mining. “It takes some time for consciousness to take root,” the adviser explained.
Consciously, the Archdiocese of Manila is trying to simplify its complex cash system, the Church financial adviser added.
The revamp could include divesting some of its investments in businesses that are not profitable or could invite controversy in the future. – with reports from Rey Santos Jr/
*Based on December 29, 2014

Saturday, January 13, 2018


“Religion: It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion.”- - - Jon Stewart

Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man -- living in the sky --
who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a
special list of ten things he does not want you to do.. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where 
he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! But He loves you, and HE NEEDS MONEY! - - - George Carlin

Religion: it has kept us Filipinos religiously sick as a people; and has kept the Philippines politically corrupt as the only Catholic country in Asia since the 16th century. - - - Poch Suzara


                   Common Sense Atheism in a Nutshell

                                  by Luke Muehlhauser

Consider: every devout Muslim has the same reasons for being a Muslim that you have for being a Christian. And yet you do not find their reasons compelling….

Why don’t you lose any sleep over whether to convert to Islam? Can you prove that Allah is not the one, true God? Can you prove that the archangel Gabriel did not visit Muhammad in his cave? Of course not. But you need not prove any of these things to reject the beliefs of Muslims as absurd. The burden is upon them to prove that their beliefs about God and Muhammad are valid. They have not done this. They cannot do this….

The truth is, you know exactly what it is like to be an atheist with respect to the beliefs of Muslims. Isn’t it obvious Muslims are fooling themselves? Isn’t it obvious that anyone who thinks that the Koran is the perfect word of the creator of the universe has not read the book critically?…

Understand that the way you view Islam is precisely the way devout Muslims view Christianity. And it is the way I view all religions.

To accept a religion’s claims, you can’t use the reasoning you apply to other religions – your “common” sense – or else you would reject your own religion for the same reasons you reject other religions. The religious person must employ special thinking.

If we remove GOD from our sick society we will be left with nothing but liars, deceivers, cheaters, polluters, sex seller, sex buyers, swindlers, murderers, kidnappers, robbers, killers, rapists, tax evaders, child molesters, street beggars, sick employers, sick reporters, sick telecasters, sick teachers, sick professors, sick doctors, sick lawyers, sick bookkeepers, sick politicians, sick theologians, sick mothers and  sick fathers happy and proud to produce street children for the dirty streets of our sick and dirty cities - precisely the real horrors historically happening daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly in the Philippines with God always there existing ready and willing and available to forgive all of our sick sins and sick crimes at any time in this only Catholic country in Asia since the 16th century. AMEN!  
It has always been a highly profitable religious business for the Priesthood Industry, hasn't it?  - - - Poch Suzara, ATHEIST

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Love of Thought

There is nothing more contemptible, more despicable, more unstable    in this world than the fear of thought. There is, however, nothing more precious, more delicious, and more nutritious than the love of thought. There is nothing quite like it all of nature. - - -  Poch Suzara

Friday, December 29, 2017


For with God, nothing shall be impossible. Luke 1:37

No Kidding? What a lot of farce, fraud, and ceremony. Indeed, a lot of spiritual delusions based on lies and deceptions.
If nothing shall be impossible with God, how come it has been possible with God to cure blindness only in one person; to cure leprosy only in    one person; to make the lame walk again only in one person.

Indeed, how come  it has always been impossible with God to make diseases no longer contagious? Miraculously make only health contagious? - - - Poch Suzara

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Life After Death Corruption Deal as a Religious Arrangement

YES TO THIS, AS POCH SAID:    I said it before, I say it again: stop teaching Filipino children in school to believe that there is a God existing up out there always ready and available to forgive all of our sins and crimes at any time. Or, that such a God will always open the gates of heaven to those who open their hearts to Him. This is the kind of a sick education that promotes nothing but sick corruption for our sick society to remain sick forever and ever. Even our sick and corrupt government officials are so happy and proud of the sick and insane religious arrangement! helen 

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Questions are Far More Precious than the Answers

Once you have learned to ask questions - relevant and appropriate and substantial questions - you have learned how to learn and no one can keep you from learning whatever you want or need to learn. - - - Neil Postman

Indeed, questions are far more precious than the answers because the answers, in reality, become obsolete. Consider the nature of reality: each unfolding reality contains the seeds of its own destruction and the embryo of a new reality that will replace it. After I got myself expelled out          of La Salle high school, I carried on with what in fact got me expelled: I carried on habitually           in life questioning not only about this or that something; but questioning everything. - - - Poch   Suzara

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

For This Christmas I will celebrate not the Birth of a Jewish Son of God, but Man's Capacity to Think

We are told that we are saved not by what we do but by trusting what Christ has done. To think that this is the same Christ who was born of   a Jewish family in a Jewish town under Jewish history, culture, and tradition some 2,000 years ago. Israel today is not even a Christian country. It is a Jewish State populated by Jews, ruled by Jews, and inspired by Judaism – a major religion that does not celebrate Christmas – the Birth    of Christ.  In this already 21st century, if Christ cares not to save his native fellow-Jews in Israel, why should Christ bother to save the Filipinos or even save the Philippines? 

In the meantime, I say it again: the pleasures in growth and positive achievement, the love of life, happy, expansive, generous, and creative; glad when others happy, and not glad when others are not happy - are the precious things on my mind while I celebrate Christmas this year. Indeed, for this Christmas, I should wish to celebrate the birth of the Filipino capacity to think, especially to think  in terms of growth as a healthy people, and in terms of development as a wealthy nation.

I have no wish to celebrate the birth anniversary of Christ, but only to celebrate instead the birth of the the power of thought to love the truth, beauty, knowledge, and the joys of this life in this world in the here and now. These will do for Christmas this year; however, for Christmas next year, I may wish to celebrate Christmas with higher or more meaningful reasons; specially with nothing to do with the birth of a Jewish Son of a Jewish God.

                                                                                     Poch Suzara

Life After Death is a Sick Joke

If there were life after death in heaven,
how come our dead loved-ones never
visit us the living on earth? It is we, the 
living, who visits our dead loved-ones
in the cemeteries. 

Obviously, life after death is a sick joke 
since the dead cannot even laugh at the
living visiting the faithfools in the cemetery.

                                          Poch Suzara

- - - Poch Suzara