Wednesday, December 21, 2005

jueteng: here we go again!

Jueteng and other illegal numbers games are back. They are back in the same provinces, with the same gambling lords, victimizing the same poor people. jueteng payolas go to the same beneficiaries from the same operators for the same protection purpose.

It was gone for a while. It went into hiding for some time. Now it is making a come back slowly but surely. And unless these illegal numbers are stopped, very happy days will be here again very soon for their financiers and their supporters. Lotto giving birth to lotteng and letreng. EZ2 being used as a camouflage for jueteng. Video carrera that are untouchable when having the proper “stickers”. Masiao and fruit game. The list goes on. And the authorities concerned continue to play blind, deaf and dumb.

Time and again it has been proven that jueteng in particular is vincible. This is well contrary to those who claim that it is endowed with invincibility. This claim is usually made by those who finance, operate and benefit from it.

The president has all the power to eradicate jueteng. Yet this illegal numbers game has more lives that the proverbial cat. She has at her command the whole DILG, the whole PNP, the whole NBI. Yet she named but a mayor as her anti-jueteng “Czar”. He acted as tasked. He pleaded as he only could. He succeeded for a while. Now jueteng is making a fast comeback—as expected.

From the Juetengate II senate hearing, it is not difficult to know why the administration is incapacitated from seriously combating jueteng, putting jueteng lords behind bars, stopping jueteng for good. To this date, the name of an often identified jueteng lord is being linked with a former COMELEC Commissioner suspected of rigging the 2004 national elections.

Why is it that people keep saying that MalacaƱang and jueteng appear to be inseparable friends? Why is it repeatedly said that Pampanga is the Vatican of Jueteng and that province as well is the origin of the highest office holder in the land? Why do these talks keep coming back like a haunting song?

+O.V. CRUZ, D.D.
21 December 2005