Why Among Ed lost to ‘jueteng’ operators, backers | Inquirer Opinion

Why Among Ed lost to ‘jueteng’ operators, backers

09:01 PM September 20, 2011

THIS IS in response to Archbishop Oscar Cruz’s statement. (Inquirer, 9/15/11)

Yes, I was not able to stop jueteng during my watch as governor, but it does not mean I did not do anything to stop it. Even if the good bishop himself were the governor, or anybody for that matter, he would not have succeeded too. Why?

All the elected officials then did not care about stopping jueteng.  Both the provincial police director and then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said there was no jueteng in the province. I asked the local government secretary then to assign to Pampanga an anti-jueteng provincial police director, a request that was not granted. How can we stop jueteng when elected officials and the police were all saying there was no jueteng in Pampanga, only the Small Town Lottery (STL)? Even a winnable anti-jueteng drive can’t succeed with just one government official pushing it.

Hence, what did I do?  I formed a multi-sectoral group to help educate Kapampangans about the ill effects of jueteng; some schools even drew up a student curriculum with an anti-illegal gambling thrust.


I also filed a plunder case against Bong Pineda at the Ombudsman in connection with the plunder case that eventually led to the conviction of former President Estrada. My primary purpose was to make us realize that the harmful jueteng virus has infected our nation’s moral fiber, and even the highest office of the land has not been spared.

I agree with Bishop Cruz that the “one-strike policy” is an old, useless song. No police director general, even the well-intentioned Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome and the entire Philippine National Police, will be able to stop jueteng.

Why?  It has been claimed in several congressional hearings that STL/Loterya ng Bayan and jueteng are just the same; that most of the jueteng operators are also the STL franchisees; that the former is a cover for the latter.  How would the police arrest the kobradors if they say they are not jueteng but STL/LnB collectors?

Also, how can we stop jueteng by strengthening LnB if the LnB operators are the same as the STL operators? Do we expect a sudden change of hearts from former operators who have stolen so much resources from government by not paying the rightful taxes, using them instead as protection money for certain politicians, men in uniform and church leaders?


If we really want to eliminate jueteng, let us stop LnB/STL. I am not a patron of any form of gambling, legal or illegal, but we can stop jueteng by strengthening lotto. Just let PCSO run the lotto games and eliminate the jueteng/STL/LnB operators.

Let us not have undue expectations from new Director General Bartolome. Let’s first observe how he will perform.  But we can demand from P-Noy and the PCSO.  Of course, the PNP will be of help.  Ultimately, the people will have to join in.



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TAGS: illegal gambling, Jueteng, Letters to the Editor, local government, lotto, Pampanga, Police, politics

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