Monday, July 05, 2010

Pnoy's stand on gambling

Don't be shocked but I don't think PNoy can live up to 
all of his campaign promises, whatever they were.
He ain't Santa Claus.

Just a few days before is inauguration, Pnoy's propaganda mill started churning out the drivel that he isn't Superman and like others, I took it to mean that Pnoy's camp was managing expectations.

Being a 'populist' Presidential candidate and a subscriber to the tenet of traditional politics which is "politics is addition", Pnoy sought to make it appear that he was in agreement with every body in every issue in order to increase the likelihood of getting the support of the greatest number of people.

Now that he has won the Presidency and is on his fifth day of work as of today, people are beginning to demand that he begin delivering on what they think were his campaign promises and he is going to be in a tough bind because we won't be able to satisfy everybody that he has promised everything to.

By promising everything to everybody, he has actually increased the chances of being bound to fulfill promises that run in conflict with one another.

Take, for instance, being a MORAL leader and gambling.

Gambling, whether legal or illegal, is a vice and this vice (along with other vices such as smoking, getting inebriated, fornicating, et cetera) is an agent of corruption.

Having made himself out to be the people's champion against corruption, some sectors might have expected that he'd crackdown on gambling and other vices.

On the frontpage of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the official mouthpiece of the Second Aquino Administration, is a story whose title reads "Bishop tells Aquino: Bare gambling policy".  The story goes on to say that Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz asking PNoy to explain the direction he is going to take with gambling.

Cruz told the Inquirer that he found it “quite surprising as well as disturbing” that Mr. Aquino had so far said “absolutely nothing” on his plans to reform Pagcor, which has been perceived to be a milking cow for the past Arroyo administration.

Instead, the prelate noted, “the official gambling arm of the government even received the silent but decisive presidential attention in terms of the recent appointment” of a new chair/CEO of Pagcor.

“What could be his marching order? Is it to make official gambling in this impoverished country more entrenched and pervasive, more operational and profitable?” Cruz asked.

“Is it to make more gambling addicts? Is it to propagate more dishonesty and corruption in the disposition of the multimillion pesos taken away from its dubious clients?” asked Cruz, one of the few bishops critical of Arroyo.
For the moment, I'll forget the fact that the Catholic Church's rather confused stand on gambling can actually be mollified (or confused even further) by the donations it gets and focus on the bind that PNoy might be in as far as gambling is concerned.

PNoy ought to be stoked to live out his idea of moral rectitude which to some may include going against ALL manner of gambling -- which are, after all, vices that propagate corruption.

But then again, that might mean having to do without the funds that Pagcor generates -- which is rather substantial, I guess, especially considering the huge budget deficit that his government must deal with.

Of course, the answer may come in the form of a compromise and the Catholic Church is rather forgiving.

As far as compromises are concerned, there is an inordinate number that one can make.

Then again, I wouldn't put PNoy beyond resorting to the "tried and tested" ruse of implementing an intensified crackdown on jueteng and other forms of illegal gambling and open a whole new can of worms in the process -- providing a smokescreen of sorts.

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