Monday, June 27, 2005

senate jueteng probe

Now it is clear and certain: Jueteng is a big scourge of the country. A mortal plague of the people, a big sin of the government long since. The jueteng probe has accomplished this much that well.

Jueteng exploits the poor. Their little money is even stolen from them and given to corrupt public officials and police authorities. Their desperation to win is responded to by their repeated loses. At the end of the day, they are the millions of victims of the century old jueteng operations in the country.

In this country, it is always the poor who are the victims of power, greed and injustice. They are the victims of political promises. They are the victims of economy and industry. And they too are the victims of jueteng—plus all illegal numbers games in the country.

Jueteng has long since undermined the morals and culture of the people. It is alright to gamble away hard earned money and then complain of poverty. It is acceptable to depend on luck and disregard the mandate of toil to eat and to live in decency. It has become customary to blame God and/or others for gambling loses, for living on gambling, for gambling addiction.

Jueteng as any form of gambling is plain avarice and pure greed. It is salivating for the money of other bettors. It is desiring the money of other people. All gamblers are after the money which is not really theirs.

Sad but true: the government has been long since the ultimate promoter and protector of jueteng. It is illegal yet its operation has been long allowed and even made to prosper across the decades. It is a corrupt and corrupting racket yet it has been played in the open by well known and identified gambling lords.

If jueteng has become ingrained in the daily life of the simple people to their own lost and destitution, if it has even become a means of livelihood of some of the poor, this is because the government allowed and made it to be so. Reason: It has become incapable of justifying where all the country’s wealth has gone, incapable of developing the resources of the country, incapable of providing decent livelihood opportunities.

+O. V. CRUZ, D.D.
27 June 2005