PAGCOR must be bad news for the administration, for the country, for its beneficiaries. It would be difficult to say otherwise. PAGCOR stands for the making of suspect gamblers, the creation of pitiful addicts, the grabbing of hard-earned fortunes, the destruction of once-happy families, the promotion of graft and corruption.
It is hard to look at gamblers as honorable people. It is futile to consider gambling corporations as respectable companies. It is a big joke to look at money from gambling as clean and immaculate.
It is a sad mistake to think that money from the vice of gambling can usher in the virtues of benevolence and charity. Money from vice cannot be cleansed into a virtuous commodity by simply throwing this away to the needy, the hungry, the sick. Again: the end does not justify that means. This is elementary morality.
Years before and after PAGCOR was unfortunately established, millions of people were fed, clothed and medicated definitely not by PAGCOR funds but by millions of people of good will. Vanish PAGCOR from the face of the country and charitable institutions will continue to serve, religious organizations will continue to help. Get rid of PAGCOR here and now and the churches shall continue to rise, cathedrals will go on being built.
PAGCOR stinks no matter how it attempts to deodorize itself.
It is ridiculous to think of PAGCOR as a saintly corporation, a generous entity, a selfless company. When PAGCOR funds are given out, these have strong strings attached. Their recipients are expected not only to be grateful thereto but, especially so, to be silent about the social costs it brings, the social ills it promotes.
PAGCOR can never stand for nobility and integrity, for industry and toil. That is why PAGCOR gamblers want to remain anonymous. That is why casinos are dark places. That is why loan sharks are constant accompaniments of casino gamblers. That is why the mere mention of “casino” already leaves bad taste in the mouth.
+O.V. CRUZ, DD
7 September 2005