Monday, September 11, 2006

twins

Jueteng and Small Town Lottery can be rightly called twins. They are capitalized by the same father be this old Jueteng lords or a new gambling corporations most of them put up. They are operated through one and the same structure from the Kubrador to the Pagador. They are played together with STL tickets over the Jueteng Papeletas. They exploit the same poor people. They enriched the same beneficiaries. They promote the same vice of indolence, the same culture of chance in the country.

Both are unconscionable gambling forms although one is conveniently called legal and the other nonchalantly considered illegal. They are both downright gambling vice by pairing numbers although STL has 40 and Jueteng has 38 numbers to choose from. Both are sources of instant wealth for their capitalists although there is more easy money in Jueteng than in STL operation.

But just the same, the country is now cursed with more gambling and the poor people are condemned to pay for their operational cost while everybody has to shoulder their social costs. It is not enough that there is more poverty and wants in the land. The government is even continuously introducing new forms of gambling all over the land—like Lotto, EZ2 and now STL. It is neither enough that millions of Filipinos have to leave their families and homes to find work abroad, the government sees to it that those remaining behind have much gambling opportunity. PAGCOR provides gambling for the rich. PCSO proffers gambling not only to the middle class through Lotto but also to the poor now through STL.

This government siphons in the money of the people through two major flagrant means. One is taxing them as much as possible. The other is providing many gambling alternatives. What makes this socio-economic situation not only devious but also odious is the fact that this government is not known for honesty and integrity in the handling of what it able sucks from the people. It is not famous for promoting public welfare, for eliciting public trust.

A righteous administration lays the groundwork for fomenting virtue, not for disseminating vice. A gambling administration will not gain the respect of the people because a gambler does not command honor or admiration. The present administration is sinking deeper and deeper into socio-ethical morass in terms of many odious misdeeds to the general public. If it eventually sinks, this is its own making.


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