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Church opposes STL operations in Aklan, slams “culture of gambling”

Article: Aklan Forum Journal
The Diocese of Kalibo on Sunday denounced the ‘culture of gambling’ and the operation of small time lottery (STL) in Aklan.
In a pastoral letter released on March 19, Kalibo Bishop Jose Corazon Tala-oc exhorted the faithful, laity and the priests to unite, reflect and act in strongly opposing the gambling, whether legal or illegal.
The government, he said, should stop the culture of gambling all over the country rather than regulate and promote it through small-time lotteries.
Tala-oc also quoted the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) statement on gambling in 2005 that “the form of gambling that is organized, widespread, and systemic, whether legal or illegal, is not desirable.”
“It is creating a culture of gambling that is seriously eroding the moral values of our people.”
Despite it raises challenging moral issues, the small-time lottery is heating up again in the province of Aklan after the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) authorized YetBo Gaming Philippines Corporation to conduct STL. It targets to operate on March 25 with office along N. Roldan Street in Barangay Poblacion of the capital town of Kalbo.
“Padayon kita nga magpangamuyo, agud mag malig-on ag mangin mabinantayon sa atong panaad nga mahaeongan ro moral ag espiritwal nga kabuhi ku kada  isaea katon. Ro sugae hay halit sa atong kabuhi, sa atong familia, ag sa atong kumonidad eabi eon gid sa mga igmanghod ta nga kubos,” the bishop stressed.
In a study, organized gambling continues to put vulnerable members of our communities—the poor, the less educated, the most liable to addiction—at risk of great harm. Gambling is a menace to society, deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life, destructive of good government and good stewardship rather than as a recreation, as an escape, or as a means of producing public revenue or funds for support of charities or government.
In 2007, former Kalibo Bishop Jose Romeo Lazo also slammed the entry of STL in Aklan, saying not all that are legal are moral.

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