Corporate and syndicated gambling, graft and corruption in government, illegal activities even in our forents, hunger and want among many of citizens—these are not the components of a “strong republic.”
Foreign gambling magnates could have already landed surreptitiously in the country for some time. The attempt of some legislators to legalize their intrusion into the national gambling scene is but a confirmation that ours is fast becoming a gambling republic.
Add hereto the intent of some legislators of legalizing even jueteng, this is the clincher.
That the government is practically bankrupt, this is not a secret. That the government is moving heaven and earth to pay its huge debts, to cover its big deficit, this is a well know fact.
If the government looks at the Philippine Amusement and Gambling Corporation as a principal source of revenues, then the conclusion is obvious: the government is not only financially but also appears to be ethically bankrupt.
To extend the life of corporate gambling is bad enough. It should not have been born in the first place. But to allow the same to have joint ventures with other local or foreign gambling corporations is worse.
The House Committee on Legislative Franchises should be affirmed for not liberalizing but instead restricting at least the powers of the State Gambling Authority. It is practically certain that these are unsaid forces urging the Committee to make it even be more powerful.
Gambling addicts make a danger to the fortune of their families. A bane to their friends, a liability to their business companies. And those responsible for creating such candidates for remedial psychiatry have much to answer to their victims.
+O. Cruz, DD
13 December 2004