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Filipino Officials Join Casino Debate

25 November 2003

BENGUET, Philippines – As reported by the Manila Times: "Provincial officials here are crying foul over the use of Benguet residents as an excuse to justify the establishment of the controversial gambling casino in Camp John Hay.

"In a resolution, William Esteban, a member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP, or provincial board) said that since Baguio residents would be banned from the casino, its operator has targeted the constituents of Benguet and nearby communities as its target market.

"Esteban chided the Baguio city council and the casino proponents for not considering the evil effects that gambling would have on the patrons from Benguet, particularly the young.

" …`Although the casino is clearly intended for tourists and members of the Club John Hay and not to Baguio residents, the casino will be allowed to our constituents,' Esteban said, adding: `It is contrary to our long standing opposition to gambling, which we reiterated in numerous resolutions in the past when casino was first introduced in the region.'…"

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