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‘Small Time Lottery’

“Forget the lottery. Bet on yourself instead.”
— Brian Koslow

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By Alex P. VIdal

NEW YORK CITY — If security guards will check all the cabs that enter the drive-in motels, pension and lodging houses for possible presence of minors in Iloilo City in the Philippines as mandated by a city ordinance, only few customers will have the guts to enter in these premises especially during the Valentine’s Day.
Most customers checking in via taxis will never compromise their privacy for obvious reasons, thus they will resist any attempt from security guards to check them and their companions at the risk of being denied entry.
Drive-in motels, pension and lodging houses, however, are mandated by the ordinance to reject minors or be penalized.
Good for the campaign of the Iloilo City Task Force on Morals and Values Formation (TFMVF) to protect our minors from sexual predators.
Bad for motel and pension house business.
Let’s hope that this campaign by the TFMVF won’t be another case of ningas cogon.
Task force head George Duron specifically mentioned Valentine’s Day as the specific day they would strictly monitor these establishments.
We hope that before and after the Valentine’s Day, TFMVF will continue to implement the ordinance.
Those who bring minors inside motels and lodging houses are not only sexual predators. Some are “normal” characters who happen to have partners not yet of legal age but are either sexually active or victims of blackmail, exploitation and deception.
TFMVF will fill in the blank left by negligent parents.

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Unless the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) increases the share of the local government units and the police under its Implementing Rules and Regulations, the Small Town Lottery (STL) will be dismissed as Small Time Lottery.
Under the new IRR, it was reported that the city or municipal government gets three percent of the revenue; congressional district, 0.25 percent; provincial government, 0.75 percent; and the Philippine National Police (PNP), 2.50 percent.
Because of the “small share”, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. has expressed worries that both the police and municipal mayors might not be able exert strong efforts to clamp down on “jueteng” to protect STL’s interest in their areas.
Defensor’s warning has a solid basis. Both STL and “jueteng” had similar mechanics when STL was first launched in 1987 under the Cory Aquino administration.

FRONT

Unknown to authorities, “jueteng” operators used STL as a front.
To add insult, it was found out in a Congressional hearing following the end of STL operations in 1990 that franchises for STL had been awarded to the same people behind “jueteng.”
It may be recalled that it was Defensor’s cousin, the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who exposed in September 2012 that money from “jueteng” amounted to P30 billion annually.
“Jueteng” operated openly in at least six cities in Metro Manila and in nearby provinces.
If STL will continue as “small time lottery”, illegal gambling operators could “buy” the loyalty of corrupt law enforcers and municipal mayors.

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Posted by on February 7, 2017 in CRIME, NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!

 

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Castañeda a good choice for city LEEO portfolio

“Not everyone can be trusted. I think we all have to be very selective about the people we trust.” Shelley Long

By Alex P. Vidal

IT’S the trust and confidence that matters most.

Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog made the right decision to appoint Ariel Castañeda as the new chief of the Local Economic Enterprise Office (LEEO).

The apprehensions registered by key leaders of market vendors associations in the metropolis about Castañeda’s “lack of experience” to handle the job are but natural, but experience alone is not the end-all and be-all qualifications to manage and rebuild the anomaly-ridden LEEO.

Castañeda, Mabilog’s hitherto political affairs consultant, is a reformist who carries with him the competence, dynamism and idealism of a leader necessary to streamline and iron out the kinks in the LEEO.

In choosing Castañeda, Mabilog was not entertaining a quick fix solution to the mess left behind by the office’s previous boss, Vicente de la Cruz.

Mabilog wanted to infuse integrity back in the LEEO and revive the people’s faith in the office marred previously by accusations of irregularities and mismanagement.

With Castañeda’s solid background in leadership and good credibility, Mabilog is confident the LEEO will once again experience a renaissance under a new manager.

Marker vendors associations will easily get along with the unassuming Castañeda as he is one of the most accessible and easy-to-approach members of the Mabilog cabinet.

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THE church’s silence on the proposed legalization of the Small Town Lottery (STL) in Iloilo province is deafening.

They have not made a stand or issued a statement since Governor Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr. announced last month that he was in favor of the move of the provincial board which had passed a resolution pushing for legalization of the numbers game.

With Defensor’s full approval, it’s only a matter of time before the resolution authored by Board Member Manny Gallar will bear fruits in favor of the STL.

Three operators have been queuing for the franchise to be issued by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

They are: Around D’ World Gaming Corp., Fairpoint Marketing Corp. and Iloilo Small Town Lottery Gaming Corp.

The grapevine says the PSCO will soon approve the franchise to any of the three.

Like a thief in the night, STL will invade the Iloilo province without any resistance.

The church has been actively spearheading the clamor to halt any attempt from the local government unit (LGU) to legalize any form of gambling in the past.

Priests even used the pulpit to chide those who pushed for legalization of gambling.

Why they are silent on this issue is what boggles the minds of the Ilonggos.

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THE image of Boracay Island will suffer in the global tourism industry if reports were true that the level of coliform bacteria in the beach increased 47,460 most probable number (mpn) per 100 ml and, therefore, “not safe” for swimming.

Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) regional director Jonathan Bulos had clarified that the water sample containing the high level of coliform bacteria was taken from the mouth of Bulabog Beach where there was a drainage system.

For a body of water to be considered safe for swimming, its coliform bacteria level must not exceed 1,000 mpn/ml, according to the EMB, an attached agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The presence in the Boracay waters of coliform bacteria, found mainly in human and animal waste, soil and vegetation, have been reported many years back but the DENR assured beach goers the situation was not alarming.

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FORMER North Cotabato Gov. Manny Pinol, a part time boxing manager and sportswriter, told me recently that he was not sure if he would go to Las Vegas to watch the Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather Jr. duel on May 2.

“Ka mahal sang ticket. Makahuluya man kay Manny (Pacquiao). Kon tag P200,000 per ticket e times mo ina sa 50 ka tawo nga mangayu libre mga P10 million na ina. (The ticket is so expensive. If Manny gives each of only 50 persons free tickets it’s already P10 million),” Pinol said.

I told Pinol that Pacquiao spent some P20 million for the tickets he bought from the Top Rank for distribution to fellow congressmen, showbiz characters, friends, hangers-on, and members of the Boston Celtics when Pacquiao fought Ricky Hatton on May 2, 2009.

“Against Mayweather, even if Pacquiao will spend an equivalent of P50 million for the freebie tickets, he won’t mind it,” I told Pinol.

Bisan pa. Kahuluya. Kuarta man ina gihapon. Ang iban ‘ya wala lang naga paminsar. (It’s still money. Those who ask for free tickets should think about it and have some shame.),” he replied.

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2015 in HEALTH, POLITICS

 

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Ilonggos face moral bankruptcy with STL’s surge

“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy – the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.”  Eric Hoffer

By Alex P. Vidal

GAMBLING–legal or illegal—should not be used as a weapon to fight poverty.

There are many ways to combat poverty.

Number one is population control.

A bloated population means more mouths to be fed.

Less people means less problems on malnutrition; less problems on shortage of food production; less problems on housing; less problems on employment and other social services.

The government won’t be over-burdened.

Inviting investors to build factories; encouraging small-scale businesses; and pushing for income-generating programs and activities that provide employment opportunities.

But not gambling.

Gambling corrupts both the poor and the rich.

It corrupts those in political power absolutely as they stand to benefit once we allow gambling like small town lottery (STL) to be legalized in Iloilo province.

Poverty can’t be solved overnight.

We are supposed to embrace the value of hard work if we want to rise in the economic ladder, and not to depend on numbers game.

STL, when legalized, can provide employment for those who solicit bets, but it will eat up the moral fiber of Ilonggos, who will only rely their luck-or even next meals-in the game of chance.

Since they expect to win an instant lump sum of cash for a small bet by the stroke of luck, Ilonggos will become head-over-heels with STL.

MANNA

They will only wait for the manna from heaven, thus they will end up lazy and won’t dream big beyond earning via easy money schemes.

Gambling will also teach Ilonggos to become subservient to politicians or those who advocated the removal of any barrier to make it legal.

Gambling or the legalization of STL will also send a wrong signal to the younger generation.

When our own leaders are the ones pushing for gambling, it means it’s not evil per se; it means whether it is moral or immoral depends on the interpretation or choice of our leaders.

The church has been consistent on its stand against any form of gambling, much less any move to provide it with a legal structure.

We expect the church to make a solid stand once the provincial board of Iloilo will pass a resolution to give the governor’s office the green signal in favor of the legalization of STL.

We already have so many legalized gambling operations in the country.

LOTTO

Online-lotto under the auspices of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PSCO) is one of them.

But life of the Filipinos has not improved.

Many still live under the poverty belt.

Crime rate is still blamed on overpopulation, unemployment and lack of economic opportunities for qualified job-seekers.

The number of poor has not been reduced.

Despondent heads of families will no longer dream big and will be hooked on the legalized gambling for instant relief from the rigors of life.

In STL, only the politicians and police will stand ten feet tall, not the members of the hoi polloi.

It will not ensure an instant food on the table for bettors; it will not ensure an instant tuition fee for the students; it will not ensure a better life for Ilonggos as a whole.

Ilonggos will suffer from moral and even spiritual bankruptcy.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2015 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, POLITICS

 

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Gallar a pawn in STL saga?

“I can’t speak on behalf of the show. I’m not a creator; I’m just a pawn.”  Randy Harrison

By Alex P. Vidal

THE main reason why small town lottery (STL) was not legalized in the province of Iloilo is because then Gov. Neil D. Tupas Sr. was against illegal gambling per se.

Under Tupas, STL was never a serious topic.

It’s a taboo.

Tupas would pay attention to anyone who visited his office and even his house in Hechanova, Jaro district, Iloilo City but would sneer at those who would convince him to support gambling operation in the province.

Although the provincial board had passed a resolution interposing no objection to the operation of STL in the province, it met a major snag due to Tupas’ lackadaisical attitude.

No one could fathom why Tupas, who reigned from 2001 until 2010, was so allergic to gambling.

On several occasions, Tupas gave cold shoulder treatment to liaisons of gambling operators lobbying for the STL in the province.

Reports that Tupas “nixed a monthly payola” from illegal gambling operators were confirmed by the most diligent factotum of Bogart, one of Iloilo’s most powerful and most influential illegal gambling operators.

Sakit sa ulo na si gob (Tupas). Ka tig a gid. (It’s hard to convince Governor Tupas. He is really hard),” the diligent factotum grumbled.

The grapevine was so loud at that time that as long as Tupas was the governor, there’s no way for STL or any gambling activity to prosper, much less be legalized in the province.

LIGHT

Under the administration of Gov. Arthur “Art” Defensor Sr., gambling or STL found light at the end of the tunnel, finally.

In fact, Defensor is himself pushing to allow STL in the province in order to solve the problems brought by its clandestine operations.

The governor’s ally in the provincial board, Manny Gallar, has started the ball rolling.

In the recent regular session of the provincial board, Gallar sponsored a resolution pushing for legalization of STL.

Gallar’s move came in the heels of former Iloilo first district congressman Oscar “Oca” Garin’s Sr. saber-rattling that some municipal mayors and police chiefs in his district were receiving protection racket from illegal gambling operators.

Interestingly, Garin’s only son, Rep. Oscar “Richard” Garin Jr., acting as chair of the committee as a whole, introduced the board resolution in 2010 when the latter was still the vice governor.

Garin Jr’s committee in 2010 held public consultations and concluded that “the operation of STL in the province will not contribute in cultivating a culture of immoral gambling among the Ilonggos; the societal value of STL as a tool to eradicate jueteng, an illegal numbers game, may be enhanced by allowing its operations, and from the standpoint of government as the primary agency charged with addressing the needs of its people, it can be prudently argued that the funds generated from STL appear to promise available resources for a more responsive and effective delivery of basis services to its constituents.”

CHARITY

STL charity fund sharing scheme suggested that the host city or municipality gets the biggest slice of the STL revenue share at 10 percent.

Capitol and the PNP will get five percent apiece.

Each of the five districts of Iloilo will earn 2.5 percent.

With Defensor’s imprimatur, Gallar’s resolution is expected to have a smooth sailing.

Gambling proponents think now is the right time to step up the campaign to legalize STL because of the apparent harmonious relationship between Defensor and the provincial legislature.

No feud means no opposition.

No check and balance?

When he was still anchorman of Bombo Radyo Iloilo, Gallar lambasted illegal gambling operations in the city and province in his early morning radio program.

He was fearless and consistent in his anti-illegal gambling commentaries.

As a provincial board member, Gallar now advocates for STL’s legalization.

A 360-degree turn for the diminutive politician from Cabatuan, Iloilo.

He must only be a pawn in this saga.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2015 in NEWS!!!NEWS!!!NEWS!!!, POLITICS

 

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