Gambling and corruption

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A PLEDGE of support is certainly not without its institutional features plus ceremonial accompaniments through a duly signed MOA among the OMB (Office of the Ombudsman), the OP (Office of the President), and the UNCAC (United Nations Convention Against Corruption).  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. To be called or branded a “gambler” can be likewise anything but a compliment—something to be happy about, to be proud of.  Which is why, it is simply unintelligible how a “matuwid na daan” could be so comfortable with gambling in tow.

So it is that in the past three years the present administration has 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. This numbers game 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.

It also made the PCSO, which is under the Office of the President, 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.

It likewise made the PAGCOR the crowning glory of gambling in the country.  Nothing new, but it still continues to produce 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.

But make no mistake about it, at the forthcoming State of the Nation Address things will be different.


The youth


THE greatest resource of the Church for evangelization are the young people of the Philippines. Those below 25 years of age constitute more than one half of the population.  They are hungry for Christ and his Word. They need to be evangelized. Unfortunately we do not reach the majority of our young people by catechetical instruction or the Sunday liturgy. Christ must be proclaimed to them as the Lord, the savior, the teacher, the goal and fulfillment of their lives. He must be presented to them as the Son of God who emptied himself and came not to be served but to serve and to lay down his life that we might have life in abundance. He must be seen as their brother who shows the way to the Father and challenges us all to love as He has loved—by the power of the Holy Spirit.

            But the youth must also become evangelizers themselves. The youth follow their peers. Committed Catholic young people are the best evangelizers of other young people.  We should prepare and engage them in the apostolate.  Even when young, they should be involved in parish or trans parochial apostolates after due training. They should be given a place in parish pastoral councils. It is necessary to create parish, diocesan and national youth councils.

            To manifest our concern and care for the welfare of the youth, suitable and well-trained campus ministers should be appointed for school youth. Chaplains for out-of-school youth should also be chosen from among the best young priests in the diocese.  This concern will certainly bear fruit in a more effective ministry among the youth. It can also result in more vocations to the priesthood and the religious life from among the young, and the emergence of lay leaders among them. (PCP-II Acts of the Council Nos. 650-652)


Acts and Decrees of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, 1991

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