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Bishop rejects Aquino’s gambling-sourced fund

Church opposes all forms of gambling, bishop tells president

President Benigno S. Aquino III (right) during a gift-giving project of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp President Benigno S. Aquino III (right) during a gift-giving project of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp
  • ucanews.com staff, Manila
  • Philippines
  • January 4, 2011
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A bishop  in the northern Philippine city of  Baguio has rejected President Benigno Aquino III’s offer of using gambling money for economic development.

“I told President Aquino we oppose casino and all forms of gambling,” said Bishop Carlito Cenzon of  Baguio in an interview with Church-run Radio Veritas 846.

Bishop Cenzon said the president asked him if he was willing to accept money from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) for his diocese.

“I had to say no. I said I’m not alone in this; the whole community, the mayor and local government officials are against gambling,” the bishop said.

He said Aquino was really interested in helping draw in investment for the mountain city of Baguio. One of the sources he wanted to tap for funds is the PAGCOR, a government-owned and -controlled corporation created to regulate gambling and fund the government’s socio-economic projects.

“He loves Baguio, I felt it; he really wanted to help. But he will have to consult first with our mayor and congressman,” Bishop Cenzon said.

He said the city needs to develop immediately because its population is increasing and landslides have been happening especially during the rainy season.

“It’s scary. Our urgent problem here is zoning. Our charter is 100 years old and there is a need to amend it,” the bishop said.

He said it was good the government recognizes the role of the Church in community development. He said churches in the city are always full of people.

“We are always consulted on issues… and how the city must be run,” he said.

Related reports
Lottery scheme ’shows Philippines’ impotence’
Church ‘must stop taking tainted cash’
Aquino told to scrap state gambling firm

PR12693.1635
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