Sunday, February 06, 2005

CBCP statement on gambling

Now it’s a formal policy, a collective position. Now it’s crystal clear, definite and defined. No if’s, no but’s. No exception, no contradiction.

CBCP declares: no to gambling!

No to gambling in all its illegal clandestine forms. No as well to gambling in all its legal open casinos.

The CBCP has issued three basic common resolves:

First: “To denounce illegal gambling in all its forms and to prevent its legalization.”

Second: “To combat the expansion of organized and systematic legal gambling.”

Third: “To refrain from soliciting or receiving funds from illegal and legal gambling so as not to promote the culture of gambling…even it the objective may be that of helping the poor.”

The official and ardent appeal is wherefore made to the Executive Department to implement the law against illegal gambling especially jueteng and masiao. This is not asking much as it is simply expected to do its job. If that department is not for implementing laws, then what is it for?

The formal and sincere appeal is thus also addressed to the legislative department not to legalized illegal jueteng, much less to approve HB 3409.

It is rather strange that as people’s lives are shortened by poverty, little food, lack of medicine, there is the intention to prolong the gambling life of PAGCOR. There is also the oddity that as the government covets the money of the poor by imposing more taxes, it also covets the money of the rich by extending PAGCOR operations.

If jueteng and masiao are such great activities, why then are they illegal?! And if PAGCOR is such as dear and endearing gambling corporation, why is it that many communities drive it away from them?

And if the Philippine economy is proudly said to be now that good and is loudly predicted to become ever in the times ahead, they why legalize jueteng, why prolong PAGCOR operations? Would it be right therefore to conclude that the Philippine economy would after all implode—without gambling?

February 6, 2005