Catholic pastors to Noynoy: Don't open new casinos

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2010 03:47 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2010 09:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Catholic Church leaders called anew on the government to stop opening casinos, which, they said, promote corruption and poverty.

In a press release issued on Monday, the Ecclesiastical Metropolitan Province of Lingayen, Dagupan said “if it is not legally possible to close all casinos immediately, we plead with the government not to open new ones. Opening another casino will open more doors for corruption and pave the way for the impoverishment of the families of the gamblers.”

The church leaders are again up in arms amid plans of putting up casinos in Urdaneta City and San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija.

These leaders are:

  • Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas;
  • Alaminos Bishop Marlo M. Peralta;
  • Urdaneta Bishop Jacinto A. Jose;
  • Lingayen-Dagupan Auxiliary Bishop Renato P. Mayugba;
  • San Jose de Nueva Ecija Bishop Mylo Hubert C. Vergara;
  • Cabanatuan Bishop Sofronio A. Bancud; and,
  • San Fernando, La Union Bishop Artemio L. Rillera.

With a new president leading the country, it is high time that it correct a problem that has long plagued its national pride, they said.

“The long way to the recovery of our lost national pride begins with the restoration of moral values. Gambling and upright moral values cannot flourish side by side. Gambling breeds indolence and laziness. Gambling destroys families and corrupts people…,” they said.

They said the Catholic Church is ready to help the government fight corruption and poverty.

“We have livelihood programs and micro financing projects initiated by former [President Corazon Aquino] and now flourishing in many parts of Luzon. We do not only offer protest. We offer viable practical moral alternatives,” they said.