Plea to disband Pagcor

Successful state online gambling group must go, says religious leader

Creating something of a stir in the Philippines is a plea by religious leader Archbishop Oscar Cruz that the successful state-run internet gambling group Pagcorp (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp) be disbanded.

The plea is addressed to the new state President Benigno Aquino III.

The Archbishop, a founder of the People's Movement Against Jueteng and the People's Movement Against Gambling, told local media that since gambling is synonymous with corruption, Pagcorp is also identified with corruption, and should be abolished.

"On bended knee I ask the incoming administration to get rid of Pagcor, especially as a government corporation," Cruz wrote in an article, adding that Pagcor executives should also follow the lead of the group’s chairman, Efraim Genuino, who retired early to give the new administration a free hand to choose a replacement.

In a pastoral letter issued early this week, Filipino bishops said that gambling is not in the country's best interests, and urged the new administration to provide alternatives to boost the economy without negative social and moral consequences.

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