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Groups up in arms against casinos in Boracay

08/01/2011 [ tribune.net.ph ]
By Gerry Baldo

An anti-corruption party-list group yesterday urged religious and other anti-gambling advocates to back the hundreds of Boracay residents in opposing the planned construction of gambling dens in the island resort.

Citizens Battle Against Corruption Rep. Sherwin Tugna said it is imperative that Boracay residents get the support they need in opposing the move.

“Putting up casinos will surely ruin the beautiful scenery in Boracay,” Tugna said.

Tugna also expressed apprehensions that gambling could trigger criminal activities in the island-resort considered by many as one of the best in the world.

“This will also result in higher crime rate in the island due to the need for more money to satisfy gambling addiction. Not to mention the added environmental pressure that this will bring to the island because of influx of gambling enthusiasts,” Tugna said.

Boracay residents have protested the plan even as they asked the Aquino government to reject any application to operate “all forms of casinos” on the island.

Those who joined the protest were members of the the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Aklan, Couples for Christ, Boracay Foundation Inc., El Shaddai and the Federation of Senior Citizens of Malay.

Boracay parish priest Fr. Magloire Placer said “we hope that President Aquino and the national government will listen to our appeals to reject the casino petitions.”

The Malay government where Boracay Island belongs has endorsed two applications for operating a casino and a “junket operation” in Boracay.

These include the proposal of the Cariño Development Management Corp. to build a casino at the posh 120-hectare Fairways and Bluewater Resort Golf and Country Club and the application of the Crown Regency Resort and Convention Center to be a venue of “junket operation” in Boracay. Junket operations are pre-organized gambling tournaments for foreign players.
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