Bishop alarmed by widespread gambling in Cotabato

August 7, 2022 - 1:32 PM
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Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan. (CBCP News)

A Catholic bishop in the southern Philippine diocese of Kidapawan raised concern over the spread of illegal gambling in Cotabato province.

Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo expressed alarm over the increasing number of people “hooked” into gambling in their province.

“As a shepherd of this diocese, I am deeply concerned with the young people who are now exposed to and are now slowly being introduced into this kind of activity,” Bagaforo said.

Also alarmed by the situation, the city government of Kidapawan has declared a “war against illegal gambling”.

In an executive order dated July 26, Mayor Jose Paolo Evangelista ordered local police to intensify their campaign against said activities like illegal cockfighting and make arrests of violators.

In supporting the mayor’s move, the bishop said authorities cannot just ignore the adverse effects of gambling to the psyche of the people, especially the youth.

“We have our moral responsibility to safeguard and to promote values that will strengthen the family and life, to provide direction for the young as the hope of our city and the Church, and to combat corruption and the degradation of values,” Bagaforo said in a letter to Evangelista on July 30.

“It is my hope and prayer that this executive order will be sustained and will stop the activities of illegal gambling in our city of Kidapawan,” he also said.