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Elections are a gamble


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SHOULD it surprise anyone that most illegal trades, particularly gambling, continue unabated during election season?

For many politicos, ignoring the presence of illegal gambling in a particular area can be considered as “rain dancing’’. Nope, not the dance performed to urge the gods to send forth rain. Rather, it’s learning to tango on the very palm of gambling lords for a hail of campaign funds to flood party coffers.

Notice that candidates deliver strongly-worded campaign speeches condemning crime and offering justice for all.

I still have yet to hear a candidate step up on the stage with a vow to banish jueteng, masiao, video karera, and horse-race bookies in notorious gambling havens and push for the punishment of people “in’’ on the racket.

Thus, the Justice For All clause is swelling into calluses in every campaign sortie because it is frequently mentioned and seldom meant so as not to hurt voters in the crowd who may be an avid patron of a certain unsanctioned game.

Not only are some candidates afraid of losing votes. They are terrified of running out of dough in the middle of the campaign.

Aren’t gambling operators among the most generous donors to political campaigns?

If this point is not a fact, Firing Line challenges politicians gunning for elective government posts to try and condemn illegal gambling.

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Libel suits are daily fares of media people who are usually courageous and uncompromising in their search for truth. In fact, all dedicated newspersons have been charged with libel at one time or another in their careers, especially if their beats include political and police coverages.

As the saying goes, a writer’s libel suit is his credentials of having arrived. But libel suits should strengthen the spirit of men and women who pursue better visions through the intercessions of their courageous pens.

Stumbling blocks put up by people who see no better end than amass more power and money to silence the already lonely voice of the media should not be considered as tall walls where the search for the truth should end.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/