Editorial

Playing with the devils

NO one would have argued with angelic-faced Leyte Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez when she said, quoting a mayor of her hometown Ormoc City, that politics is a “game of the devils” as she fights a Supreme Court decision ousting her from her post in Congress. The fact that the ruling, based on a case filed by her political opponents, is practically pointless as it comes just a couple of months before her term ends and election is coming up where she is running again for the same position not just drives home the point of how nasty Philippine politics is, it also demonstrates how ridiculous the whole game, in more ways than one, could be.

Local politics in Pangasinan is no exemption from this ingrained evil and clear proof of that is the province’s inclusion in the list of areas of concern for the May elections – something that no one raised a howl over anymore last time Police Chief Marlou Chan made a statement relating to it two weeks ago.

It does not have to be this way. Public service, first of all, is not a game – it’s a commitment. It is not supposed to be a league for the corrupt, the greedy, and power-trippers – it is for the well-meaning who have the capacity to be leaders.  Now that’s something to ponder on for politicians, particularly our local government leaders, and the voters as the nation observes the Holy Week in the coming days and everyone gets some break from all the campaigning, which will surely get more intense after Easter Sunday as election day nears.

Rep. Lucy is not backing out of politics, she said, as long as she knows that she is not the devil. Who among the candidates in Pangasinan are playing devils?

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Gambling fever

FIRST, the Resorts World Manila, the country’s first private-owned gambling casino that opened in Pasay City some four years or so ago. On March 16, the $1-billion Solaire Resort and Hotel Casino, reportedly owned by port magnate Ricky Razon, flung open its doors beside Manila Bay — with President Aquino present.  Over the next three years, three more casinos will rise in the same 100-hectare reclaimed area by the bay. Investors include taipan Henry Sy, Japanese game-maker Kazuo Okada and tycoon Andrew Tan — all are co-owners of Resorts World Manila, the Las Vegas-like game house controlled by Malaysian casino behemoth Genting under the Travellers International Hotel Group.  Resorts World already earned a whopping $1.2 billion in 2011.  With a projection of a $6-billion net once The Entertainment City is completed in 2016, this will surpass the $5 billion revenues that Las Vegas rakes in annually.

Good for us?

But, of course!  Already, Solaire has 4,500 employees.

However, rules on the entry of locals to the casinos should be immediately drawn up as to avoid the breakdown of families — gambling being a bane especially in a developing country like the Philippines.  First and foremost, casinos should strictly be for tourists only?  We are serious.

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