Fight jueteng, and the jueteng lords and all their payola recipients are up in arms against anyone in any place who dares do so. Jueteng is considered as some kind of a little entertainment of the poor. It shells out a few pesos as bets according to their dreams and other perceived signs. An innocent game in the eyes of many, the truth is that it is big time gambling promoted by equally big time jueteng lords. There is also the fact that jueteng is a syndicated racket starting from the local to the regional and national level.
The bottom line is money. The lords of jueteng enrich themselves fast. Their protectors easily fill up their deep pockets. Their other payola recipients have fat bank accounts. And those who are left with nothing are the bettors. Happily they place bets. Resignedly they lose. Hopefully they bet again. And the unfortunate circle of hope and lost, hope again and lost again, goes on—to the big delight and glee of the jueteng lord, their protectors, and other payola recipients.
Thus stands the crusade against jueteng in central Pangasinan: the fight is on! The jueteng lord covering the place and their beneficiaries are all angry and up in arms. Formerly, they tried to smear my name in whispers and innuendoes. Then they attempted approaching me to buy my silence. Now they are working on the Pangasinan Provincial Board to declare me a “persona non-grata”.
The following factors stand up: lest they lose money because of the crusade, they use money instead to fight back. Rather than having their pockets hurt, they prefer to hurt those going against their big racket and the pervasive corruption it causes. They are faceless and nameless but real and living creatures. Having more money is what only matters to them. What is right or wrong are altogether irrelevant to these crooks.
A public danger and shame, an open racket and illegal game, a corrupt and corrupting syndicate, and untouched and untouchable vicious industry—this is jueteng in central Pangasinan, and presumably in practically the whole of Luzon and the Visayas.
20 November 2002