Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bleeding Hearts and Bulging Pockets

Jueteng is one lucky vice. It is well identified with gross cheating and corruption, with big deception and crime – not to mention its loud, official and strong denouncement as illegal gambling by the ruling administration. Yet, at practically no time was it even suspended in operation, much less decidedly vanished from the land. Oh, yes, there would be sporadic anti-jueteng rhetorics – with even well publicized symbolic arrests. At the end of the day however, the practically omnipresent juetengeros and their ever eager protector-benefactors infallibly continue in their merry ways and celebrate their happy days all year round. And now that national elections seem to be a probable reality, political candidates wherefore need and seek a lot of money to feed and wine the voters, to finance many fiestas and to buy votes, juetengeros are understandably becoming more aggressive as well as more secure and comfortable.

As expected, those who benefit most from jueteng appear as the most concerned with juetengeros from cobrador to the cabo, from the caja to the pagador – the different Jueteng Lords included. Their standard heart-rending and loud-sobbing self-dialogue are the same long since: Stop Jueteng? Heavens! How will the juetengeros live? How can they feed their families? What “work” would they have? The jueteng defenders and promoters are the pictures of pity, the images of concern and individuals with great mission of love for the illegal numbers’ game. In other words, when jueteng is assailed, theirs are profusely bleeding hearts!

The other side of the coin - so to speak – is exactly the same infamous characters who cry loud and weep much with even but the mere thought of freeing people from the clutches of juetengeros, are precisely the same detestable figures who jump for joy with the receipt of mandatory and regular jueteng payolas. They are precisely the ones who frequently go to the banks after buying not only things but persons as well. That is to say, the louder their public lamentations are in favor and in defense of jueteng, the bigger are their bribes and other fringe benefits that go with the racket that continuously fool bettors and cheat the poor. Meantime, the same heart bleeders are also the very ones demanding and expecting very generous regular jueteng payolas to put in their big and deep bulging pockets!

While jueteng eventually fell the previous administration, it is adding insult to injury that with the advent of the present administration some eight years ago, exactly the same illegal numbers game became twice – even thrice in certain Luzon provinces – in proliferation both as such openly and hiding under the skirt of Small Town Lottery. The conclusion is obvious: As long as the present administration continue to rule – which is a constant bad news – it is Mabuhay Jueteng!

Sept. 21, 2009