The Diocese of Balanga, led by its bishop Ruperto Santos, has expressed opposition to the plan to construct a cockpit in Samal, Bataan.
In a pastoral directive dated October 15, Santos described the plan as a “disgrace” at a time when there is a pandemic.
“It is such a disgrace and very disappointing to know that in this critical time of the coronavirus pandemic, there are people who are planning to construct a cockpit in Barangay Imelda in Samal,” said Santos.
“Will that cockpit help our people, especially in the middle of a pandemic when people are even struggling to put food on their tables? Absolutely not,” he added.
The prelate said the planned cockpit will only be a new “breeding ground for the horrible virus of gambling addiction and greed.”
Bishop Santos said the cockpit will also endanger family values and stir the curiosity of the children to follow suit.
“Cockpit undermines social values and destroys morals. Cockpit is a venue for propagating a vice, not a service to the community,” he said.
Santos said this is why the diocese is strongly against its construction.
“That cockpit will never build up our people, but will only break up our community. It will never be a source of blessing to our town. On the contrary, it will lead us to poverty and much suffering,” he said.
“Cockpit is a form of social malady and will never be beneficial to all. It is not honorable to God nor is it edifying to our people,” added Santos.
He asked those behind the plan to focus on the people’s welfare and not avarice for making money or profit, as well as foster charity not to accumulate easy money or create future misunderstanding and problems.
“This is the time to seek and turn to God. What our people need is hope,” said Santos.