PCSO’s pipe dream
This refers to the letter of Edgar J. Tamayo, the lead convenor of the group Movement for Transparency in Lotto and Legal Gaming (MOTLO-LG). In that letter he said, among other things, that Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo categorically admitted that jueteng is rampant in Northern Luzon, and that some policemen are being bribed to allow its continuing operation. (Inquirer, 2/25/12) This is a claim that some of us find very disheartening, even painful.
Everybody knows that local police forces are, by law, under the control of the chief executives of local government units. Common sense thus tells us that the eradication of jueteng does not depend solely on local police forces; local officials must do their share to make such an undertaking succeed. So do the bettors of jueteng, a crime that can be likened to a disease that has been plaguing the country since time immemorial; they too have a crucial role in the effort to stop jueteng.
The idea that replacing the Small Town Lottery (STL) with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s Loterya ng Bayan (PLB) would ultimately eliminate jueteng is a pipe dream. This move will not eradicate jueteng.
Or is the PCSO saying that PLB, unlike STL, will be immune to the allurements of the godfathers of jueteng? I don’t think so.
The only sure change there will be, should STL be replaced with PLB, will be in the “collar.” Indeed it will be a different collar, but everything else will be the same: the gambling lords, the victims, the huge profits despite the huge bribes, the collusion between government authorities (local officials and police officers) and jueteng financiers, etc.
The best formula is for the PNP to stand firm against corruption and go against jueteng with the full backing of the local officials concerned.
Only thus will we be able to put an end to jueteng operations in the country.
—ALEX B. BALAORO, police officer 1, Legazpi City Police Station, Alternate Road, Legazpi City
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