- Archbishop Oscar Cruz praised President Rodrigo Duterte for vowing to end online gambling in the Philippines.
- However, Cruz criticized Duterte for supporting casino operations.
- According to Cruz, gambling is always wrong even if some of its profits are used to help people.
Archbishop Oscar Cruz has expressed both praise and criticism for President Rodrigo Duterte’s stand on gambling.
The archbishop-emeritus of Lingayen-Dagupan praised Duterte for his vow to ban online gambling in the country. Duterte explained that online gambling entices many Filipinos to gamble their money instead of work an honest job to put food on the table. Duterte also criticized online gambling because the government has no way of collecting taxes from its operations across the country.
However, Cruz also criticized the president for supporting casino operations.
According to the archbishop, gambling is always wrong from a Christian perspective even if the money produced from it is being used to help people.
“It’s so hard to accept that gambling will be used to help the poor. The end does not justify the means,” Cruz said in a radio interview.
Despite finding online gambling as a harmful practice, Duterte has expressed his support for casino operations. He explained that the earnings from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. are used for health services.
“Gambling is gambling and don’t tell me that these gamblers are saints and holy,” said Cruz, who leads an anti-gambling crusade nationwide.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) criticized the casino industry on March after the Philippines was involved in a money-laundering scheme and bank heist allegations that made international headlines.
The bishops pointed out that gambling continues to rise and grow in the country even if several other countries have already made it illegal. Gambling is known for having links to crime syndicates and to other criminal practices such as money-laundering. -