I’VE been meaning to write about the government’s war against illegal gambling right after PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa’s declaration last Monday, but it completely slipped my mind.

After all, there wasn’t much hoopla this time around, so unlike the first time the Duterte administration declared one.

Remember the much-ballyhooed war-to-end-all-wars against illegal drugs? Yeah, that one.

Expectations were high back then. The public rallied around the former Davao City mayor hoping that he could make them feel safe, that he could replicate in the whole archipelago what he had done in the southern city.

I mean, he did say he would do it in six months. And that got everybody gung-hoed.

There was one slight hitch, though.

You see, the drug menace was never eradicated in Davao City. Those who believed it had were either naive or in denial. Or just plain kiss-ass.

But despite that, I threw my weight behind the campaign, 110 percent. Not because I was naive or in denial or a plain kiss-ass, but because I knew a new approach was needed to address the issue.

I even turned a blind eye when the bodies began piling up, when suspected drug personalities were dropping like flies, swatted by masked men on motorcycles.

But six months later, with more than 6,000 dead, majority--and by “majority” I mean 99.9 percent—of whom belonging to the lower-income bracket, the problem shows no sign of going away. Instead, what this administration has done is expose how deeply-rooted the drug problem is.

I had hoped that Duterte and his sidekick dela Rosa would weed out a viable solution, but maybe I was putting too much faith in them. They are, after all, only human. And the problem--one of many the country faces--at hand is herculean in nature.

So pardon my ho-hum response to dela Rosa’s recent pronouncement.

Anyway, I’ve never been comfortable with the government’s anti-illegal gambling drive. Not when it owns the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) and manages charity sweepstakes and lotteries.

It just doesn’t seem fair for authorities to go after people who are more at home sitting in front of video carreras or mole-mole machines but not after those who slave in front of slot machines inside a casino.

Because if the government is really serious about the problem, it should just ban all forms of gambling. And yes, that means shutting down Pagcor and the likes.

But dela Rosa would have none of that.

In light of the embarrassment some members of his organization has caused his boss, he plodded on with this rhetoric. “The bottom line is the national advocacy to rid the country of all forms of illegal gambling activities that contribute to moral decay and provide an economic support system that sustains other forms of illegal activities,” he said.

How much do you want to bet that most if not all the illegal gambling personalities who will be arrested or killed will come from the low-income bracket?