In their order of gravity and infamy, the commonly known listing of big-time gamblers in the national level can be thus enumerated according to their numerical composition—as some kind of an aide memoire.
On the top of the list is the syndicate of gambling operators in the person of the dreaded infamous exploitative jueteng Lords. They feed on the poor and gullible, the young and old alike. Callous and remorseless, they dupe bettors, they grab all bets. They pocket billions. They corrupt people in and out of government.
They are all over the land, especially in the whole of Luzon and in most places of the Visayas. They lay claim to definite and defined territories. They eliminate those who dare counter their orders and designs. They buy protection. They pay goons. They throw crumbs to the needy. They thus pretend to be generous and saintly.
Next in line is a quintuplet. They run and allegedly world class gambling corporation. They are not known for respecting ethical principles, nor are they famous for observing moral restrictions. Money appears not only as their focus in life, but also the God they bow to and worship.
This quintuplet is perceived as very powerful, much influential and truly fearful. It seems to have the backing of the whole government. It appears to be the preferential boy of the highest office holder in the land. Its members are said to have meager salaries but limitless perks. They are looked as abundantly blessed.
Last but certainly not the least is the triad of gambling giants. They were on top of the heap. They were then considered as the best of friends. It seemed they had great times, great fun. It was said that they looked at the millions they win and lose as peanuts. “Friends forever” appeared to be their maxim.
But the triad is now dissolved for all intents and purposes. In fact, it broke apart to the extent that they are presently perceived as mortal enemies, so to speak, it is now a question of who has the staying power, who will last as really the last. Tri-media continues to watch and record their moves and plights. Meantime, the high tension drama goes on.
Gambling – your name is curse!
29 January 2007