Jueteng lords are the best examples of puppeteers. The big difference is that they manipulate living people—especially powerful people in public authority. They dictate what should be done, how and when, and the powerful become powerless.
That is why up to now, not a single jueteng lord has been brought to justice. After decades of their gross exploitation of the poor, there they are—still influential, invincible, untouchable.
It will certainly take much more than friendly persuasion to stop them. No one in the present administration appears ready to confront them, much less is there anybody willing to place anyone of them behind bars.
It is for this reason that jueteng is slowly but surely creeping back in the country. This is why masiao, lotteng, bookies and other illegal numbers games are still impoverishing the gullible and enriching their already filthy rich operators.
And this is why even if jueteng were gone, another form of gambling is on deck: small town lottery (STL). From one gambling to another gambling—is this all that this government is capable of doing? Is this one of the expressions of a transactional government?
All indications point out to the predictable event that it is the jueteng lords who will obtain the STL franchise, who will finance it through licensed operators, who will use their own cabos and cobradores to grab again the money of the poor bettors.
As of this writing, the proposed distribution of the STL gambling profits is the following: 10% for the Mayor. 10% for the collector or corsal. 3% for the cabo. 2% for the governor. 2% for the PNP. 10% for the PCSO. The rest goes into the deep pockets of the gambling lords—after deduction of expenses for his “empleados”.
In the conservative estimate that the total collection in a city is some 800 Thousand Pesos a day, the Ten-percenters rake in some 80 Thousand daily which amount to a hefty 2,400,000.00 monthly. All this amount comes courtesy of the poor.
27 September 2005