Some time ago, within the hallowed halls of the government, and no less than a public official bluntly expressed his creative thought and distinguished suggestion for the formal identification and official designation of somebody with the august and impressive title of “Gambling Czar” in and for the Republic of the Philippines. There was even the suggestion that such a supposedly illustrious title – with its singular privileges and marvelous perks – could be appended to the Chairman of the “Philippine Amusing Gambling Corporation.”
To date, nothing more so far has been heard about the questionable if not odious and shameful subject matter. This however in no way means that the possibility or even probability of its resuscitation in the days ahead – especially at the instance of the Executive Department – will not become a reality. There are valid reasons to think and conclude that in due time, the Philippines will eventually have such an illustrious public official known as the “Gambling Czar.” And there are reasons to expect its dreadful and embarrassing advent – such as the following:
There are already two big official national gambling agencies in the country placed directly under the Office of the President who exercises direct line function thereon. Said gambling entities wherefore are but staff constituencies of the Chief Executive. By the way, there is no gambling venture – be this legal or illegal – that does not make very certain and well predicted impressive profits every day of the month, all the months of the year. Why? All gambling activities are in favor of the gambling corporations as well as the gambling lords in terms of earnings or profits.
Furthermore, there is now the on-going preparation for an impressive gambling conglomerate in a choice place in Metro Manila. And in order to somehow camouflage its categorical and distinct over-all gambling intent and operation, it is claimed that there will be this and that, now and then incidental entertainment programs therein. But its centerpiece remains gambling and more gambling.
It is not a secret that big gambling also invites big local and foreign gamblers with dubious character, attracting as well big money launderers in addition to the fact that they are the fertile breeding ground of big gambling addicts. As often and rightly said, the engine of gambling – especially the “professional” kind – is greed. It works this way: Every gambler wants the money of all other gamblers. And as concretely experienced and repeatedly said, greed is a powerful motor of dishonesty, deceit, cheating, not to mention graft and corruption. Gambling addicts are the best witnesses to this personal malady – at the expense of their work, business of profession, at the risk of the welfare of their family plus the ridicule of their relatives and friends.
For heaven’s sake, how can gambling be a feature of “Matuid na daan?”