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Thursday, December 02, 2010

City mayors’ hands, tied on illegal gambling drive 
CUTTING illegal gambling by the throat can only be good as how high its orders come, take it from a city mayor well within the heart of the country’s jueteng capital. 
In fact, San Fernando City’s mayor Oscar Rodriguez, who himself sits as the national President of the League of Cities in the Philippines (LCP) hinted when asked what the LCP’s position in the national drive against illegal gambling is. 
On this, he hinted that the city mayors hands are tied when it comes to the national campaign against illegal gambling, which the government has satisfactorily proven to be nothing but another of its lip-service campaigns. 
The LCC’s stand as reiterated by Rodriguez was essentially the same as the one uttered by Senator Chiz Escudero who pointed out that it’s the police, the top leaders and the gambling lords in collusion with each other that makes the [illegal gambling] business run. 
Escudero said with any of the three agreeing to the operations, there’s a big likelihood that illegal gambling thrives. 
Put in a relatively tough seat with the province of Pampanga as the center of country’s gambling operations, Rodriguez admitted that the drive wouldn’t go as far with national and provincial leaders hearts anywhere but not against illegal gambling. 
The country’s one of the best performing city mayors shared that he had a very sad experience with the campaign against illegal gambling. 
He admitted it was hard for him to release the order as he knew that a gambling lord campaigned for him in the previous elections. 
But owing to the issued national campaign, Rodriguez said he had to do it. 
The cat-and-mouse arrests and operations however died naturally when police realized the higher authorities were not as serious with the campaign, he said. 
Rodrigiez however did not elaborate if the “seriousness” was about the Palace decision to keep Interior and Local Government Secretary Rico Puno despite being allegedly accepting millions in illegal gambling protection money. 
“Honestly, we have more important things to do [as city mayors] than running after illegal gamblers, Rodriguez said in utter dismay at the comeback of the bets nationwide. (racPIABohol)

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