Thus reads a heading in big bold letters published by a well known broadsheet (PDI) dated 27 February 2009. It was reported that no less than the President of the Philippines said that her administration was “obligated” to continue the campaign against illegal gambling because past administrations failed to stop it. Hence, it was said that the same extra powerful highest public official in the land “ordered” the Department of Interior and Local Government plus the Philippine National Police to stop “anything illegal in Pampanga.” This apparently little news carried by the newspaper in its section “Across the NATION” is in fact one big pregnant public story that makes hearts stop and starts minds reeling in wonder. In other words, the apparently small news items in effect raises certain revealing factors and rather perplexing questions – such as the following:
One, if the previous administrations miserably failed to stop illegal gambling primarily on account of the payolas that regularly and infallibly went to the then public officials concerned from the local up to the local government authorities concerned, the naked truth is that the same illegal gambling not only doubled but even tripled in operation and rapacity across certain regions in the Country precisely during the present administration.
Two, if something is squarely illegal according to law, for what reason if any, what is there in illegal gambling that this would still require formally ordering the DILG and PNA to stop it? What is more interesting in this scene is that it was even the Numero Uno in the ruling government who had to give the order. More intriguing is the standing fact that illegal gambling peacefully and merrily continues to reign all over the Country in one form or another – something which is public knowledge.
Three, if the living reality of illegal gambling is in fact thriving well in this otherwise pleasant land to live in and pleasing to stay at, there are certain sad and pitiful conclusions that cry loud for attention: 1st, The President can talk and talk about illegal gambling , order this and that , yet no one listens. 2nd, The DILG and PNP instead listen to other truly persuasive individuals engaged in illegal gambling, and thereby act accordingly, seeing nothing, hearing nothing and doing nothing. 3rd, The illegal Gambling Lords are in effect over and above all big wigs in the executive Department in influence and persuasion, in concern and generosity.
Four, if the notable and impressive presidential order to stop illegal gambling categorically but in the Pampanga, there must be something extraordinary underpinnings in this particularized mandate: Is the province of the President really the Vatican of illegal gambling specifically of Jueteng? Is Pampanga the place the same personality is targeting to continue governing and possibly continue as well to have immunity from suits?
Five, if the President plus the DILG plus the PNP plus the NBI plus their multi-billion intelligence funds cannot stop but illegal gambling, how on earth can they stop murders, drug dealings, kidnappings, violations of women and many other crimes in the country?
August 21, 2009