Like the proverbial cat that has nine lives jueteng in this country simply refuses to die. Its practically unending life cannot but have a continuously life-giving premise. And this has long been established jueteng lords. The jueteng strong protectors. The jueteng big beneficiaries. The much disturbing and disgusting fact is that they are mostly known. Yet they remain free and at ease in doing their respective roles in keeping jueteng alive in the country through the decades up to the present.
Jueteng is officially illegal. Yet jueteng draws now take place usually one to three times a day in Luzon and the Visayas. This is the present healthy status of jueteng in the country. And as also long since proven, jueteng and elections go hand in hand. With the coming May 2007 elections, jueteng has also come with a vengeance.
Meantime, the national leadership with all its power, might and influence has not stopped jueteng. Not that it cannot stop it but it simply does not want it stopped. The million-peso reasons behind the intriguing phenomenon are readily found in the sworn to abundant testimonies of the key witnesses during the Senate inquiry on jueteng. Complete names were mentioned. Concrete amounts were said. Concrete places were identified.
The Senate did its task to bring the jueteng plague in the open. Tri-media assiduously brought to public knowledge what the senators concerned did for weeks and for long hours. The principal witnesses laid their lives on the line. But lo and behold, the executive department heard nothing at all, and did exactly nothing as well. It can be readily presumed that even the unlettered came to know the cause behind its loud silence and marked inaction.
Let it be expressly said that there are still few places in Luzon and the Visayas which remain jueteng free to this date. Why? Plain, simple and easy: the local officials and the police authorities concerned do not want jueteng. No bullet was exploded, no gun was fired. Their moral conviction and determination are enough to drive and keep jueteng away from their respective territorial jurisdictions.
Yet, the national leadership even with its impressive and fearful title of “Commander-in-Chief” remains quiet, passive and complacent. For all intents and purposes, asking why is tantamount to doing the futile and inutile. This has special relevance to the firm resolve of the administration to make its loyal political allies win in the forthcoming elections—at all cost!
12 March 2007