Saturday, January 22, 2005

abc of gambling

The envisioned extension of the PAGCOR CHARTER. The proposed legalization of jueteng, masiao and other numbers games. These are big bad news for the country.

It is enough that the nation is already downgraded in its credit rating, recently proclaimed as the second most corrupt country, and now reeling from threats of instability from the poor and the oppressed, the right and the left.

It is still made to suffer degradation for the proliferation of gambling in practically all conceivable forms and ways. These come in form of the preferential affection of the government for PAGCOR and its flagrant tolerance of infamous illegal gambling syndicates.

Gambling in the Philippines has a distinct “ABC”: addiction, blood, corruption. This is a very dangerous tripod. It stands for vice that consumes, for money that is often tainted with blood, for moral and/or financial bankruptcy that corrupts the gamblers.

The gambling ABC is definitely not something that makes people responsible, upright, dependable. The opposite is true: gamblers are not renowned for their industry and integrity, their productivity and honesty. How many civil liabilities and criminal offenses have been incurred and committed, respectively, in the name of gambling?

While there are many factors that weaken a republic, one thing remains certain: when it has corporate gambling as its flagship industry and illegal gambling as its daily bread—these do not a strong republic make!

There was a time when the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes was long held in high esteem. People patronized it basically to help those in need. Winning was not the primary intention.

But sad to say, not long ago the once admirable PCSO has been sadly couple with downright gambling as lotto which in turn has generated affined gambling forms.

How true it is that in this country there is a pretty long litany of gambling forms and an equally long string of gamblers. This is why there are those who dare call our dear country “The Gambling Republic”. And this is not an honorable label.


+O.V. CRUZ, DD
22 January 2005