Probably with all sincerity and good will, someone respected and in tenure of a high public office recently pledged to support the present administration in its claim of an anti-corruption stance possibly in line with its “Matuwid na Daan” mantra – some kind of a loud and proud battle cry that has however become already overused ad nauseam. The said administration is now well known as talking too much but doing too little – a perception that sadly seems to have become more and more common in but its three-year reign.
The said pledge of support is certainly not without its institutional features plus ceremonial accompaniments through a duly signed MOA among the OMB, the OP, and the UNCAC. It can be presumed that the elementary principle and pursuant dictate of “Good Manners and Right Conduct” is the honest concern and resolve of OMB and UNCAC – something however that in all honesty and candor has become rather hard to assume on the part of the OP, considering its factual record even but in the sphere of gambling, all sublime rhetoric and declamations to the contrary notwithstanding.
It is both foolish and futile to make a congruent pair between anti-corruption and gambling whereas the latter is precisely a much corrupt and corrupting venture. Gambling – even under the funny disguise of “gaming” – is anything but for individuals noted for their integrity and industry, honor, and ethical principle/ that is why to be called or branded a “gambler” can be likewise anything but a compliment – something to be happy about, to be proud of. So it is that in the past three years the present administration:
Made a hands-off policy on JUETENG which is illegal and which has already become an institution especially in the Northern, Central, and Southern Luzon. It deceives the poor in particular – while it enriches the Jueteng lords and the Jueteng protectors. In fact, Jueteng payolas played a big role in the past mid-term elections for vote buying purposes.
Made the PCSO the author itself and promoter even of not one but several honest to goodness gambling forms. Yes, through many different advertisements, it trumpets its supposedly good deeds in funding hospital needs of some people. But where the bulk of the gambling income goes is anybody’s guess whereas transparency is not its avowed concern.
Made the PACGOR the crowning glory of gambling in the country. It produces gambling addicts, promotes dishonesty, and destroys families – not to mention the many other social evils that go therewith. One thing is certain: It is a great vehicle for money laundering. It also shouts from the housetops what it builds here and there but remains blind, deaf, and dumb about where the rest of the gambling income goes – again as usual.