Now it is official. Not it can be told. The present government is the biggest gambling lord in the country. Its hands are full of gambling—PAGCOR at the right and PCSO at the left. All other gambling lords of all gambling forms operating in the country combined are small fries compared to the coverage and intensity of the gambling engagement of the government for the rich and the poor alike. It spares no one from strong and open enticement to gambling.
The government under the national leadership has no problem when it wants to raise funds for its own goals and objectives without the least consideration for the socio-ethical implications. That is why, when a big money-making venture is illegal, its response it rather simple: legalize it!
Jueteng is against the law. Response: Make it according to law by launching it as “Small Town Lottery” --no matter if it is not “small” because it is a multi-billion racket. And never mind if it is simply a “town” activity but eventually a provincial, regional and probably even a national gambling venture. One thing is certain: What the government wants, it simply does. Never mind the ethical welfare of the nation, the degradation of sound culture, the corruption of a right value system.
The irrational mental framework of the government is simple: It needs money. So it resolves to make money. The easiest way for it to have money is through wide-spread gambling. Hence it promotes gambling for all sectors of society. People are poor. So let them gamble and keep them hoping to win by pure luck or chance. Many have no work. Hence give them gambling work—canceling the meaning of work as sweat and toil.
Wide-spread gambling is some kind of an opium of the people. The wealthy have problems money cannot resolve. So the government induces them to gamble through PAGCOR. And this is why PAGCOR tries to spread itself more and more. Case in point is the VIP Slots Club project in Balibago, Angeles City. It is designed to operate outside existing hotel premises, near even a chicken restaurant frequented by families and young people alike.
The poor have problems for not having money to have a decent life. So the government too leads them to gambling through PCSO with its lotto and EZ2. And there is now the additional gambling alternative—to be surreptitiously accompanied by illegal bookies if not with jueteng itself as back-ups.
The present government through its national leadership is making the country not only financially but also ethically bankrupt. And gambling—which is a vice, not a virtue—is making it worse.
30 March 2006