Monday, September 05, 2011

“Mr. Casino Filipino”

CONSIDERING that gambling—be this legal or illegal—can be anything but noble and ennobling, it is sad that PAGCOR would now even go to the extent of exploiting the innocence and enthusiasm of young people in order to promote its long since questionable management as well as dubious operations. Lately, it is trying hard to laundry its much tarnished name and covetous agenda by loud and sustained publicity about its concern and generosity in the education of children. Now, it is going to the extent of staging a “Ms. Casino Filipino” contest allegedly to promote this or that salutary program.

With malice towards none, with good towards all, it could be both relevant and significant to bring to mind even but the following “minor” matters—all in conjunction with PAGCOR:

Where is Bentain? What happened to him? How come there is still great silence about him as if he disappeared into thin air? If he were still alive and allowed to talk, what would he say?

Who really killed Nida Blanca? Why was she in fact killed? How is it that to this date, the reason as well as the mastermind behind her killing remains mysteriously unsaid and unknown, respectively?

Where are the gambling addicts brought to existence by the Government Corporation? Where are the families that were destroyed—courtesy of the same gambling Institution? Up to when will the same entity bring about addicts, cause the separation of families and other personal maladies?

With but the above questions—and there are many more worth asking as more and more serious and disturbing issues are being raised on the use of Pagcor funds—there is enough reason to question the continuous operation and even aggressive promotion of the said gambling GOCC.

There is one fundamental ethical principle that PAGCOR cannot deny, much less nullify: “The end does not justify the means.” Gambling remains a social cancer—notwithstanding all its pretences at presenting a figure of dignity and a source of charity. The money it claims to have is in fact yanked out of the pockets of misled individuals. The funds it trumpets to give away, in reality belong to unfortunate people who indulge in gambling—undermining their own human dignity and relational responsibilities.

It is so very hard to claim the “matuid na daan” while at the same time considering gambling as a straight way of life. In this case, somebody is either an ignoramus or simply callous. Would that it were otherwise.

5 September 2011