CONSIDERING the nature of such government corporations as the PAGCOR promoting all conceivable forms of gambling plus the PCSO that is another official gambling provider in different modalities with different names, and add thereto the continuous proliferation of a good number of both “legal” and “illegal” gambling syndicates in the country, it is definitely not mere poetry to call the Philippines a “Gambling Republic”.
This is not because Filipinos are born gamblers as gambling providers avidly claim—but rather because the government provides and encourages them to gamble. Truth to tell, there are rather very few countries where the government is a downright gambler itself. This is anything but a national pride.
Never mind the poverty that is pulsating and threatening the peace and order in all the regions of the country. And forget about the graft and corruption still alive and kicking in many departments of government. Forgot as well the dejection of big number of people eagerly and continuously seeking work but in fact remain workless, desirous of having their children educated but become more and more ignorant in the course of time. To all this big social problem, the government appears to be loudly and repeatedly saying “Go and gamble!”
It bears saying that gambling is a vice. It promotes addiction, encourages indolence and thereby discourages industry. It feeds on human dependence on luck as it thereby demeans human dignity. This is why both legal and illegal gambling providers and operators do not frequent well lighted places. Much less are they proud in identifying themselves openly in public. It may be strange but true that the said individuals do not gamble as a rule. Reason: They eventually become losers. The same is true with those making illegal drugs their capital and source of income. As a rule, they do not take such drugs. Reason: They also emerge as losers in the course of time.
Considering that gambling is both corrupt and corrupting, it is not only disturbing but also disgusting that a government that proclaims itself as the incarnate enemy of corruption not simply provides and promotes “legal” gambling but also openly tolerates “illegal” gambling such as Jueteng! As often said there is neither rhyme nor reason in such a gambling posture vis-à-vis its “Daan matuwid” loud and clear pre-election rhapsody.
Gambling Republic! And this is not even about competence or will-power but merely about plain honesty and simple decency. Nothing more—and nothing less too.
25 MARCH 2011