Wednesday, May 28, 2008

gambling republic

It is not enough that the Philippines is shamefully certified as most corrupt country, that the government is rated as morally bankrupt and that the national leadership has a big negative rating in people’s trust and approval. It is neither sufficient that there are massacres here and there, brisk smuggling of luxury cars, of dangerous meat products and rice. Neither is it adequate that there is once more an increasing numbers of summary executions, many very active drug syndicates, there is less and less money to buy necessities while gas, electricity and food are becoming more and more costly. Add hereto wherefore the ever increasing poverty, hunger and sickness of a likewise increasing number of Filipinos with their consequent discontent, disgust and anger. All these profound and extensive social liabilities are still not enough national evils for the present administration. It still deems it necessary to lowly but surely build a Gambling Republic—with neither shame nor reserve.

There is already the well thriving illegal gambling all over the land in practically all ways and forms—with Jueteng as the topnotch numbers game especially in the whole of Luzon. All its capitalist, operators, and protectors among local officials police authorities are well known by Mang Tomas, Aling Inday and Totoy. There is the impressive Republic Act No. 9287 made effective on 19 April 2004. It defines everybody and everything about Jueteng—together with the serious penalties thereto attached. Four long years later, the Act remains but merely “acting”, simply to earn “pogi” point. But its implementation is one big fat zero to this date. Thus it is that Jueteng has in effect become more rampant, better organized and much alive.

And there is the combined gambling forces of PAGCOR and PCSO. These official gambling corporations directly under the baton of Malacañang provide, offer and entice the people to engage in politically correct “legal” gambling varieties under different “official” gambling names. But all of them are infallibly and concertedly aimed at grabbling the money of gullible gamblers, at funding by the billions whatever the administration wants under the tune of “Whatever Malacañang wants. Malacañang gets.” And for purposes of public relations, these corporate gambling institutions spit down some pesos here and there, for this and that much publicized charity purpose.

Now, comes a relative new creature in the Philippines gambling horizon bearing the dubious name “Asian Poker Tour (APT)—with the following cryptic claims: One, it is part of the world of sports. Two, it is for tourism purpose. Three, it is sanctioned by PAGCOR. What it does not say is if the huge gambling money involved is covered by the anti-money laundering law, wherefrom Casinos in the country are interestingly exempted.

Philippines my Philippines: What’s next?

+OVCRUZ, DD
28 May 2008