DILG drafts master plan against ‘jueteng’

THE Aquino administration is embarking on a different approach in dealing with “jueteng,” an illegal numbers game, amid allegation that top government officials are receiving huge payoff from illegal gambling operators.

President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said his government will not rely too much on police operations to stop the decades-old problem of jueteng.

In a press briefing in Camp Crame yesterday, President Aquino said he has already tasked the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to draw up a “holistic” plan against jueteng.

“There is a comprehensive plan (being drafted) by the DILG to put a stop and solve the problem of jueteng,” Aquino said.

The President was in Camp Crame to preside the turnover ceremonies of the Philippine National Police (PNP) from the retiring Director General Jesus Versoza to the new PNP chief, Deputy Director General Raul Bacalzo.

The President said the master plan would also tap other government agencies before making any crackdown on the illegal numbers game.

“Huli tayo ng huli pero ‘yun, maliit lang ang nakukuha natin. Solusyon ba ito?… hindi tayo gagaya sa mga dati kaya antayin muna natin ang DILG. They have a comprehensive plan,” Aquino said.

The President, however, added that he is more concerned with the problem of illegal drugs than the problem of illegal gambling operations in the country.

“My marching order to the new chief PNP is to focus on crime groups or gangs that prey on tourists, to focus against robbers, hold-up, hi-jacking and continue the fight against illegal drugs,” he said.

Bacalzo said local government units (LGUs) has the prime responsibility against illegal gambling with the police providing support on the law enforcement side.

“We will have to intesnify our campaign against it, but a the same time we should build strong partnership with the other dimensions, with other sectors particularly the local executives and religous sectors,” he said.

The new PNP chief, who belongs to the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class ’77, said he will focus on correcting institutional mistakes, instill discipline and improve the procurement system.

“We will review policies and implement a practical action plan and every police officer and commander must be a mentor, a problem and he must instill discipline on his subordinates,” Bacalzo said. Anthony Vargas

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