The Latin phrase sounds familiar. It is the title of a famous literature that forwarded one signal and distinct cry – with element of great resentment towards what was then wrong with the nation and unjust to people. The ground reality and distinct relevance of the lamentation eventually proved to be the joyful liberation of the nation and the big blessing of the Filipino people. Thus it was that in the realm of objective truth, falsehood ultimately succumbed to veracity, oppression and immorality subsequently bowed down before the virtues and integrity, respectively.
“Touch me not!” While thought of very intensely and thereafter bravely written decades ago, the text and context of the strong injunction are still very vibrant and insistent – when applied to such a corrupt and corrupting syndicate of the infamous Jueteng Operators vis-à-vis shameless Jueteng Protectors. The heart and soul of the continuous existence and vibrant the following triad: One, the open and continuous exploitation of the poor and unlettered. Two, the constant and effective security avidly accorded to the lawless Jueteng federation precisely by those supposed to root it out. Three, the untrammeled flow of juicy and regular payolas to all those salivating for their guaranteed regular receipt among those in the hierarchy of public officials and police authorities committed to Jueteng continuous and fruitful operative existence.
There is really honor even among thieves. This known maxim is very relevant to and assiduously observed by all those in the Jueteng circle. Everyone’s word is enough without any written record or official receipts. Everyone gets or gives what is agreed upon in cash, viz., how much, when and where, all according to but verbal agreements. Those who look at Jueteng from afar and/or speak of it for nice sound bites and pursuant publicity, do not know or refuse to know that those constituent members of the Jueteng organization who either do not give or give less than formally agreed upon, all finally find themselves six feet below the ground – in event that escape is no longer an option. And this is not mere poetry but downright reality in the well-disciplined world of Jueteng.
There are thousands of law enforcers in uniforms of different cuts and colors. There even so called “Sacred Agents” of one kind or another. Most of them carry impressive weapons with equally fearful bullets. There are even the multi-million intelligence funds regularly available to the government to do away with Jueteng. And this gross and odious activity goes on and on – just like the proverbial cat with nine lives. The Jueteng Lords and Jueteng Operators are very well known to Juan, Pedro and Isko. But the public officials and police authorities do not. Reason: Touch me not!
10 DECEMBER 2010