By Daxim Lucas, Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Catholic Archbishop Oscar Cruz, the Churchâ€™s well-known crusader against the illegal numbers racket â€œjueteng,â€ said ranking government officials should stop betting in the lotto and just leave the game to the masses.
Cruz made the statement after several senators admitted they themselves had been placing lotto bets.
â€œIt is not in accord with proper values that these honorable gentlemen would still play lotto,â€ Cruz said. â€œThey already have more than enough. They should leave it up to the ordinary citizens and not meddle with it anymore.â€
Lotto is also gambling
Cruz said these officials should be reminded of delicadeza (sense of propriety) and the dignity of the office they occupy. He added that the senators also could not claim that they were betting in order to help the poor.
â€œIf they want to help the poor, then why is it that they donâ€™t bet if the jackpot price is small?â€ Cruz said.
Even lotto has â€œthat element of gambling because they buy tickets in order to win money that belonged to others,â€ he added.
â€œThat is the essence of gambling. In gambling, when they put a bet, (they think) â€˜the money has to be mine (while) everybody else wants my money to be theirs.â€™â€
Sen. Joker Arroyo said he didnâ€™t know anything about lotto but that people were free to dream.
In an interview on dwIZ radio, Arroyo said: â€œI donâ€™t know the game, Iâ€™m ignorant of that kind of gambling. P20 for P380 million? That is for the greedy.â€
Arroyo said the only game of chance he played was Black Jack.
When told that six of his colleagues were regular lotto bettors like many Filipinos, Arroyo said: â€œThey are praying to win just like everyone else. Iâ€™m just joking. But if they like to, they can dream.â€ With reports from Philip C. Tubeza and Gil Cabacungan Jr.