Saturday, September 30, 2006


Now it can be said with no “if’s” or “but’s”. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office has joined gambling in the Republic. In fact, the noticeable insistence and high frequency of PCSO tri-media advertisements show its avid determination to equal PAGCOR in generating gambling revenues. PCSO is said to be resolved in helping the poor. But it wants to do that precisely by exploiting the poor themselves by making them gamble.

For its initial gambling endeavor, PCSO ventured into Lotto which was followed by EZ2 as a complementary numbers game. And now, presenting: Small Town Lottery (STL)! This is gambling for small people in small towns. Gambling for big people in big cities is for PAGCOR. Now it cannot be said that the present administration does not provide gambling for all people in all places. The office of the president must be now happy. It is assured of gambling revenues from the rich and the poor, all over the land.

It has been repeatedly said with due fanfare and drum rolls that the police authority will vanish jueteng from the face of the Philippines this month of September. Hereafter, it is said that the country will be “jueteng free”. The intention behind this apparently noble resolve is in fact a vicious design. If the country were made free of jueteng, this is only meant to make it “STL full”--one gambling form out, another gambling module in. How insidious!

Furthermore, there are certain curious truths what the administration does not say in the context of deceiving people. It does not say that STL is jueteng with another name. It does not say that STL has the same jueteng lords operating it through dummy corporations. It does not say that STL uses the same jueteng structure to gather monies from the bettors to pile them up before jueteng honchos. It does not say that STL has the same payola beneficiaries. Most of all, it does not say that STL exploits the same poor people as jueteng exactly does.

In other words, STL is jueteng dressed up. The saying goes that a monkey dressed in silk, remains exactly but a monkey. This is one depressing fact about the present administration. It is not only basically all talk but what it says is not even credible. No wonder it finds it hard to govern. It does not unite but instead divide people. Most of all, it lacks moral authority—something that definitely does not come from an administration that promotes gambling that siphons money from the wealthy and the wretched alike. For what? Ah, this is anybody’s guess!

Organized syndicated gambling can be equated with anything but integrity, industry and reality.

+O. V. CRUZ, D.D.
30 September 2006