If the President would but officially and directly say no to jueteng, stop jueteng, away with jueteng--then it’s over. By sheer determination, even lowly locals can and do make their respective municipalities or provinces jueteng-free by simply saying the word. The president can surely do the same by a plain and simple “no to jueteng!” mandate to the DILG and PNP.
There is no need for guns and bullets. There is neither any necessity for special task forces. There is not even the need of counting “strikes” or adopting any other formula. Her no-to-jueteng imperative will be enough to cleanse the country of jueteng, or to drive juetengeros into shameful hiding.
And once there were no more jueteng for keeps in the country:
- First, those close to her would be above suspicion in being jueteng payola beneficiaries.
- Second, the local officials would be spared of the allegations of being suspects as jueteng payola receipients.
- Third, the police authorities would nolonger be moved for being suspects as jueteng payola protectors.
- Fourth, the jueteng lords would be out of business, would be disabled in operating such a corrupt and corrupting gambling syndicate.
- Fifth, the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng would have to fold up for being irrelevant.
If the President could not stop a plain illegal number game such as jueteng, if she could not permanently put an end to jueteng in the country with all her authority and power, then people should not be blamed for their progressively emerging disrespect towards the highest office in the land.
Juetengate is certainly not a small matter. Jueteng may be something small when seen on the part of the poor bettors. But when considered in the hierarchy of its operators, then it is a mighty big source of corruption, a fertile cause of national restlessness.
As usual, too much money corrupts much and many. And this is the case of juetengate.
9 May 2005