Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Krusada ng Bayan Laban sa Jueteng

Naga City
A W A  R D E E

For record purposes and in fitting memorial to a distinguished public official whose untimely demise was mourned by the entire Nation, let it be herein recalled with delight and stated with pleasure that the then Mayor Jesse M. Robredo was one of the first recipients of the award “Parangal Para Sa Marangal” conferred on him by the National Crusade against Jueteng. He was informed of the Award. He was requested to come. He accepted the invitation. He received the award. He thanked the Krusada. The rest is history.

All the local public officials who were conferred the Award gave exactly the same answer when asked why jueteng was not existent in their respective jurisdictions: They did not want it and they meant it. They had the subordinate collaboration of the local police authorities. And jueteng was gone. Call it integrity, conviction or “political will” on their part – or whatever. The fact and the lesson however are the same: To spare a Municipality, a City and/or a Province from the curse of jueteng, it is enough for the public officials concerned to say clearly and emphatically “No to Jueteng!”

And rightly so. It is illegal. It feeds on the poverty of people. It fools the ignorant. It corrupts those in tenure of public office. It enriches gambling lords and operators. It cultivates the mentality of chance. It builds up gambling addiction. It forments indolence. It is a cover-up of shady characters. It finances other forms of illegal gambling. It funds political campaigns. It receives protection from those precisely mandated to get rid of the very corrupt and much corrupting illegal gambling.

There was someone who was taken away from the highest public office in the Land on account of jueteng – among other causes. There was somebody – now also out of office – identified with a big and powerful gambling lord living in the so-called “Vatican of Jueteng” in Central Luzon. There is somebody now holding the same office who is slowly but surely building a gambling economy for the country. There are the casinos for the rich and powerful. There is the Lotto for those having enough money to gamble. And there is the jueteng for the poor and miserable. That covers all the socio-economic strata in the country. Yes! It’s more fun in the Philippines!