Tell it to SunStar: Pogo and Pagcor: Dumb and dumber

Tell it to SunStar: Does age really matter?
SunStar Tell it

By Reni M. Valenzuela

Alejandro Tengco argued that banning Pogo (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) would drive legitimate operators underground. Scholarly! Clever.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) chairman’s line of thinking is, in effect, suggesting that the government should legalize syndicates or underground gangs/mafias engaged in robbery, smuggling, drug trafficking and all other malfeasance. Furthermore, Tengco warned of a P20 billion revenue loss for the government if Pogo operations are stopped and banned altogether.

When did you (with other “wise” officials), sir, raise an issue with the hundreds of billions of pesos that are lost yearly to corruption, dirty politics, pork barrel, PS-DBM procurement anomalies, official “tricks,” kickbacks, bribery, extortions, etc.? You tell me. You have not even raised an eyebrow.

Have you ever wondered why Filipinos in the countryside remain ancient in their way of life? No potable water, no concrete roads, no bridges, no hospitals, no schools, no classrooms, no books, no internet, no telephones, no basic services, no slippers, no money, etc. (just all malls).

Such despicable realities despite the Countryside Development Fund (CDF) and Confidential/Intelligence Funds (CIF) in billions of pesos (the latter beyond audit reach) being allotted to the Office of the President and Vice President and to each of our 316 congressmen and 24 senators, not to mention the local officials and police/military men via their own “sikwat” schemes -- year after year, since time immemorial.

Are you indeed concerned about government funds -- or “something else” that you’re afraid of losing should the government decide to act and do what is right? Be honest. But, impossible.

Dear executive and local leaders: What is it in gambling or demons that benefits you big time (personally and politically) and which made you howl, wail and lament at the proposal to ban Pogo?

Gambling in general, in whatever form, shape and size (legal and illegal), must be stopped and banned, as a matter of fact and prudence. To pundits: When has it been sane for someone to weigh the pros and cons on matters of evil?

Here’s what’s hilarious (or foolish) about Mr. Tengco’s bleeding heart: His logic can be likened to the case of parents who got caught prostituting and selling their children to cybersex trade. Question: When have we heard any one of these abusive parents warn the government that they would lose their means to earn a living for their family and support the schooling of their children if they will be made to stop from doing what they’re doing and be imprisoned?

Dumb and dumber.

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