Occidental Mindoro abhors gambling. The provincial government has seen to it that its jurisdiction is free of jueteng for many years. And this is true to date. Gambling is officially unwelcome in the province.
The present Administration however has no respect for such an honorable option. The national leadership through its gambling corporations sees to it that Occidental Mindoro has gambling. That is why the infamous “Small Town Lottery” (STL) with its big social costs is now operational in the province.
The Provincial Governor and Vice Governor do not want STL. The Church leadership does not want STL. Many civic and religious leaders do not want STL. But the present Administration wants gambling. Now there is STL in the province—promoting the mentality of chance plus the liability of indolence.
It is said that a good number of self-employed people in the province earn but some 40 Pesos a day. Yet this government insists in cleaning them even of the little money they have. This administration does not only impose more and more indirect taxes on them from birth to death. It also wants what is left. Gambling operated by the government ably does this.
What this government wants, it gets no matter the way, no matter the costs. It is fixated with power plus the money to perpetuate itself. It seems even the revenues that may be generated from settlements of suspect stolen wealth are not enough. Gambling revenues are also pursued even from provinces that loathe gambling. This is imperial Malacañang at its best.
One can just wonder what will happen to a government that officially disgraces itself and publicly scandalizes others. With the promotion of gambling, this government is also gambling its future. And as always, a gambler eventually loses. This is the unforgiving truth.
Occidental Mindoro keeps the honor. The National leaders earn the dishonor.
Why can’t STL go away?
29 May 2006