The cat is out the bag, finally.
A contract for the operation of a gambling casino in Camp John Hay has been signed between the Camp John Hay Development Corporation (CJHDC) and a private casino operator, apparently, without the knowledge of City Hall, much less the wider public.
This is a blatant violation of one of the several conditionalities that CJHDC and the City of Baguio signed as precondition for the development of Camp John Hay, which as far as we know have never been rescinded or modified.
Obviously, the contracting parties believe that they can pull a fast one over the city government and the citizens of Baguio, unless City Hall is actually in the know and kept the public in the dark. In which case, some people in high places have a lot of explaining to do.
First, why did the contracting parties push through with a project knowing fully well that the vast majority of the city’s residents have opposed the opening of a casino in the city?
For the information of newcomers to Baguio, there have been gambling casinos here in the past, and in those instances where big time gambling was in operation, city residents and those from nearby towns have paid a high price in terms of broken families, discontinued education of children and other anti-social impact like loose morals, corruption and failed businesses.
This would explain the vehement opposition of Baguio residents to the resumption to this kind of gambling for we know relatives, friends and other acquaintances who have fallen by the wayside because of casino-addiction.
Secondly, are the parties behind this casino project just testing the waters? Do they feel confident that city officials could be swayed to their side because many incumbent politicians would be needing financial contributions as the election season approaches?
There are other questions we would like to pose at the appropriate forum such as the sessions of the city council and even to the mayor’s office during the weekly Ulat sa Bayan.
Meanwhile, the concerned citizens of the city led by their religious leaders and other peoples’ organizations would be holding a march and rally on Monday to reiterate their vehement opposition to this brazen attempt to undermine once more the morals and values of its citizens.
We can only hope that city officials would heed their pleas and immediately put an end to any speculation that some of them are complicit in the plot to resume casino gambling in the city.
Otherwise, they should be held accountable for this pernicious attempt to sell us down the river in exchange for a few pesos more in their campaign kitty.
Let them feel the citizen’s wrath come election time. # www.nordis.net