How long would the lull in jueteng operations go?

Almost all forms of illegal gambling operations in the country, particularly jueteng, had reportedly come to a full stop as of yesterday, following retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s exposes in the Senate.

But some bold and hard-headed jueteng operators in some parts of Central Luzon like in Bulacan and Pampanga have continued their collections under the cover of PCSO’s Small Town Lottery (STL).

Nobody believes that the DILG, the PNP and other law-enforcement agencies of the government could ever put a stop in the illegal gambling operations unless the President uses his political will and issue an order for it to stop.

Like in previous government anti-gambling campaigns, today’s noises and campaign against jueteng appears to be just another “ningas cogon” in the making.

The only question that comes to the mind of the public, including the anti-gambling crusaders is: How long would the lull in jueteng operations go? Answer: Full jueteng operations will resume soon as Congressional probes on the subject ends.

PNP chief Gen. Raul Bacalzo says he has ordered the Directorate for Intelligence and the Directorate for Investigation and Management to validate the information from Archbishop Cruz and Sen. Santiago. As to what has happened and experienced in the past, the Chief PNP’s directive will just remain as a façade, for show.

Jueteng is a victim-less crime and oftentimes a witness-less criminal offense as there are not much paper trail in this kind of business which rakes in an estimated sales of more than P30 billion a year.

Convicted but pardoned plunderer former President Joseph Estrada’s gambling consultant Charlie “Atong” Ang claims that there is nothing illegal in his on-line gambling operations under the Meridien Vista Gaming Corp. (MVGC).

It is true that MVGC has obtained a license from the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) “to operate on-line gaming only within the CEZA and Freeport Zone in Cagayan.

The CEZA, thru administrator Jose Mari Ponce, had ordered a cease and desist order for MVGC to operate on-line gaming. But the MVGC had reportedly been able to obtain a TRO from the Court of Appeals. Hence, it continues its operation.

The problem is that the MVGC is monitored to be operating or trying to operate in many provinces in the Bicol Region, Northern Luzon, Central Luzon,Western Visayas and Southern Tagalog.

Ponce says CEZA has no right to give MVGC a right to operate jai-alai-based on-line gaming since this franchise had been given to the Philippine Jai-alai and Amusement Corp. under Presidential Decree 810.

Since February this year, Ponce says MVGC has been running its virtual game even without jai-alai activity as basis for its winning combination, but (only on) on-line numbers game supposedly generated by a computer program.

Sen. Santiago has tagged Atong Ang as the number one in the list of illegal gambling operators because reports said his MVGC firm reportedly operates as a jueteng front disguised as STL gaming outlets in Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte. If there’s nothing illegal in Ang’s operation, why is that MVGC’s tentacles, which is supposed to be confined only in Cagayan, is operating in many parts of the country?


A group of reporters are running after a certain June Marie-Lapid Marquez, said to be a niece of Sen. Lito Lapid, who bought used equipment from their old and closed down barbershop in Marquee Hall, Angeles City worth almost P500,000.

Said to be an employee of Pagcor Casino in Angeles City , Ms. Marquez and the barbershop owners agreed to have the payments in installment using post-dated checks.

But all the checks issued by Ms. Marquez allegedly bounced. She had closed her checking account in a bank in Angeles City . She had been promising to pay the group for over a month now to no avail.


For feedback and comments, please email me at Buong Giliw/Romie A. Evangelista


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