Gambling capital of Asia
SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) - June 11, 2013 - 12:00am

The Philippines is now the gambling capital of Asia. Mega Casino Solaire is now open at Roxas Boulevard. It is booming. Two more luxury casinos are under construction at the Roxas Boulevard area. There are about 30 casinos in operation, including 5 in Angeles City, Pampanga.

A 3rd racetrack has opened in Malvar, Batangas. Racing days used to be only on weekends. It is now held 6 days a week. Off track, betting station and bookies are all over the greater Metro Manila area. Cockfights are now held daily and simultaneously in the different cockpits all over the country.

Internet gambling parlors have been popping up all over the country. There’s an estimated 3,000 E-gaming parlors.

Jueteng is in full swing. STL operators are all over Luzon. Masiao and “Last 2” are operating in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Sports betting is big business. Poker parlors dot the landscape.

Bingo parlors are also in operation.

There’s gambling in every street corner with wakes used as an excuse for card games such as sakla, tongits and mahjong.

For a Catholic country, it is ironic that there’s all kinds of gambling in operation throughout the country.

It is quite clear that President Aquino has an open door policy on gambling.

There should be a review of the gambling policy. To begin with, no new casinos should be licensed. A new one just opened in Albay. There’s a new one too at Hyatt Hotel in Pasay.

Joint celebration

Senator Loi Estrada celebrated her birthday June 1 at 409 Shaw Boulevard with close friends and Erap supporters present. It was also a victory party for ERAP.

Leading the guests were Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, former Erap Cabinet members Titoy Pardo, Jun Rivera, Ben Diokno, Felipe Medalla, Alex Aguirre, Dong Puno, Benny Laguesma, Jimmy Policarpio, Ed Serapio, and Mario Tiaoqui.

Also present were Jack Ng, William Gatchalian, the Mare Ladies, and Sen. Jinggoy Estrada.

Finally a conviction

PNP Supt. Dionisio Borromeo was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for protecting a shabu laboratory in Naguilian, La Union.

Congratulations are in order for RTC Judge Ferdinand Fe of RTC branch 33 in Bauang, La Union.

He must have turned down all offers to acquit Borromeo.           

Most drug lords have been able to evade conviction.

Who stopped it?

In 2010, PCSO announced it was terminating the Small Town Lottery (STL) operation because of low income and its use as a cover for jueteng operations.    

PCSO announced it would authorize Loterya ng Bayan in lieu of STL.

Three years later, PCSO has not stopped its STL operations. Somebody is making money here.

Satisfaction rating down

With 3 years of his term almost over, the Aquino administration is claiming major achievements especially in the economy. The latest GDP is 7.8% for the first quarter. Its approval rating should go up. But the latest SWS survey reports that it has gone down 4% to a +53% net satisfaction rating.

Leading the decline is in fighting crime from +26% to +17% and in defending our territorial rights (from China) from +48% to %37%. Eradicating graft and corruption also saw a decline to +19% and promoting foreign investments from +35% to +33%.

Dissatisfaction with the administration’s performance has been expressed by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), the PCCI, ECOP, Anakpawis, Ibon, and different labor groups.

We submit that part of the problem is that Cabinet members have been slow in implementing plans and projects. Bidding of projects is too slow.

Decision making has become too centralized in the presidency.

Why leave Philippines?

Manny Pangilinan’s 3 companies and Ayala are planning to invest in Myanmar. Why? Have they given up on investment opportunities in the Philippines?

The MVP companies will go into water distribution and electricity power projects in Myanmar. We need those projects here too. Something’s not right here.

Thirteen died in another jeep accident in Buguias, Benguet; 2 died in an accident in Quezon Province. Accidents in the Baguio, Benguet area have been happening with regularity. The LTFRB and LTO must do more to reduce accidents. About 2,000 people die from traffic accidents annually. The condition of public utility buses must be further examined.

The licensing of drivers must be tightened up. The use of drugs by drivers must be stopped. There must be strict enforcement of speed limits. Speeding is the main cause of accidents on NLEX, SLEX and Star Tollways.

Stop criticisms

The K to 12 education program is now covered by a law signed last month by President Aquino.

As a matter of fact, it was started 2 years ago with the implementation of the universal kindergarten program. There’s unanimity that kindergarten is a good starting point for a child’s education. It is also widely accepted that adopting a 12-year instead of 10-year basic education program is a good step forward.

Let’s stop criticizing it. It’s now a law. It’s under implementation. 

We congratulate DepEd Sec. Armin Luistro for being forward looking.

TIDBITS: Raneo Abu, 46, a former Senate employee and municipal councilor of Bauan defeated Christopher de Leon for the congressional seat of the 2nd district of Batangas. Congressman Mark Mendoza (4th district) and Rep. Sonny Collantes (3rd district) won their reelection bids in Batangas. Rep. Tom Apacible lost to Eileen Ermita Buhain in the 1st district.

Radioman Miguelito Rueras, 49, was shot dead inside his store in Pio V. Corpus town in Masbate.

Rep. Gina De Venecia reports that her House Bill No. 4445 establishing a fish port in Dagupan was approved by the Senate before it adjourned.

PO2 Gerlito Estremos, a Cebu City cop, was beaten up and shot dead with his own firearm by 2 motorcycle-riding gunmen.




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