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Anti-gambling crusader Archbishop Oscar Cruz is throwing his support behind President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to shut down online gambling operations, but not his plan to use gambling proceeds to help the poor.

The archbishop said over Radio Veritas that from a Christian perspective, gambling is wrong and that worthy charities may profit from government-sanctioned casinos doesn’t make it right.

“Napakahirap tanggapin na ang sugal ay gagamitin para tulungan ang maralita, ‘the end does not justify the means.’ Ang sugal ay sugal, at ang mga nagsusugal diyan ay huwag mong sabihin sa akin na mga santo, mga banal. Pagkatapos sinabi na ang kinita ng sugal ay gagamitin sa mabuting hangarin,” Cruz said on Church-run Radyo Veritas.
“Bagaman that is lesser evil but it is just the same, that take(s) away the negative impact of the government,” he added.

He was referring to earlier reports Duterte wants some P30 billion in Pagcor earnings to go to hospitalization and medicine for the poor.

Cruz had been an outspoken critic of past administrations for their failure to stop gambling.

Still, he said he is glad Duterte has noted the proliferation of online gambling.
“(A)ng katotohonan niyan sa ating bansa ngayon merong 35 na Pagcor institutions maliban pa sa online gambling which is practically napakahirap bilangin sapagkat marami sa online. Pero yung pinagmumulan ng online gambling na yan ay 35,” he said.

In March, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines criticized the growing casino industry after the country was dragged into a money laundering scheme and bank heist controversy.
The bishops lamented how gambling continue to thrive in the country even if many countries have already made them illegal, criminal even.

They also said that large-scale and organized gambling has been linked to organized crime like money laundering.
Source: www.newskoday.net
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