22 April 2005, Friday, 2 pm, San Carlos Seminary Formation Complex, EDSA, Makati City: This is a little yet significant V-Day for the “Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng”. No less than 10 provincial governors, 5 City Mayors and 102 Municipal Mayors from all over the country shall be given the recognition due them.
These relatively few local public officials have the admiration and appreciation of the “Krusada”. They all have one thing in common: they are all expressly and openly against Jueteng or Masiao in their respective areas of responsibility. They refuse to be corrupted by gambling lords with their big, fat and ready gambling payolas.
They prove that Jueteng and Masiao are vincible. The commonly tried recipe is the same: a local public official plus his or her police chief being one in the option to do away with illegal gambling in their area of responsibility.
But the truth must be said: such admirable and distinguished government officials and police authorities are still comparatively few and rare. This highlights the fact that illegal gambling is more rampant now in the country than during the previous administration. This means that there are more public officials in the government who are willing recipients and grateful beneficiaries of gambling payolas.
It is understandably so.
The president has officially addressed practically anything and everything undesirable in the country. In particular, she has repeatedly and loudly assailed corruption especially in the government. But the “Krusada” is still waiting for her to clearly speak and decidedly act against corrupt and corrupting illegal gambling in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.
She agreed to sign Republic Act No. 9287 last 19 April 2004 that strongly confirmed the illegality of Jueteng and Masiao. But just like many of our laws, the life and death of R.A. No. 9287 began and ended after it was signed.
The incumbent Vice President also signed on 30 March 2004 his “word of honor” to eradicate illegal numbers game in the country—especially Jueteng and Masiao—if elected into office. As Vice President, twice he was formally invited in writing to join the “Krusada” panel for a press conference. And twice he remained loudly silent about the invitation. No answer. Neither a “yes” nor a “no”.
But all that notwithstanding, the “Krusada” is doing what the government should be doing instead. This is sad but true.
For the Krusada:
+O.V. CRUZ, DD
15 April 2005