Isko, Jamby,and games people play-A A +A
Thursday, February 21, 2013
WHAT'S common in these three controversies?
--BOPK chided by its rival Team Rama for using bingo to draw crowds to its "pulong-pulongs";
--Isko Moreno and five other UNA politicians arrested for staging the card game on a Manila street; and
--Jamby Madrigal warned by Comelec for offering an iPad as prize of her online contest on corruption.
It's not the element of gambling although bingo and a Facebook raffle involve uncertainty of winning.
What moves them--the initiator and the opposer or regulator--is politics. BOPK, Isko, and Jamby wanted to use a gimmick to woo voters. Team Rama and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim didn't want opponents to gain an edge. Comelec just wanted to flex muscles.
Would anyone have minded if there were no elections in less than three months? No one.
Since when has petty gambling become a big deal? Since the campaign season started.
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama didn't go beyond carping over use of gambling to lure the crowd. He didn't order anyone's arrest. Which Mayor Lim must have instigated against his opponents. After the fiscal released Isko Moreno and his pals, Mayor Lim was busy ducking from the fallout.
Years ago, bingo, as neighborhood game, was delisted by then president Gloria Arroyo as a form of gambling.
Those in power need to be sure if the people's game they're stopping is illegal. As Sen. Kiko Pimentel would say, "Let the people play!"
And Comelec doesn't have to quickly growl, as it did over Jamby's "jajaja," only to whimper later that "social media is an unexplored terrain."
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 22, 2013.