‘Jueteng’ game

PRESIDENT Noynoy should immediately act on the expose made by retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz who claimed that two of the President’s trusted men are receiving at least P2 million each in monthly payola from operators of the illegal numbers racket.

The good bishop said he got his information from a report submitted to him by the group Krusadang Bayan, which has a network of informers from the country’s 86 Catholic dioceses.

The President said he would investigate the bishop’s allegation upon receipt of evidence.

He should. The time has come to end the charade about good governance and the fight against corruption while those around the President are making money out of their positions.

Presidents in the past vowed to cleanse this country of people who take advantage of others. It is time for President Aquino to make a difference by walking the talk.

President Noy asked the bishop for evidence. “Give us something concrete,” he said.

Meanwhile, what will President Aquino do? If it was that easy to create bodies like the “Truth Commission” and the supposedly independent panel looking into the hostage-taking fiasco, why not set up a body that will just go after it jueteng?

Bishop Cruz said he will produce the necessary evidence in the coming days. But wait, is it not the government’s responsibility to do its job? Why not start an investigation with or without the bishop’s revelation?

But is the President willing to kick the asses of whoever will be found guilty as charged by the retired bishop? The President should be ready to call the shots. After the bishop’s move, it’s now Aquino’s turn.

The investigative panel on jueteng can start with Bishop Cruz’s allegation that the government’s small-town lottery is fronting for the numbers racket in several provinces. Now Aquino has something to start on, the bishop’s allegation.

Indeed, if STL is equal to jueteng, why not just legalize the numbers racket? At least the government can benefit from a legalized jueteng. As they say, if you can’t lick it, why not just join it?

PNoy earlier said he would dismantle jueteng. Three months after he took power, nothing seems to have changed in the illegal gambling front. Jueteng seems to have become a monster that refused to die.

We understand now that no words, even from a president who vows to eradicate corruption, can kill the monster. Drastic action may be necessary.

There will be raids and arrests in the coming days. The police are good at making “pogi” points once something controversial comes out. Expect, however, that only the small guys will be targeted. Easy targets first!

But if President Aquino is serious about doing something that will lead to change, he should start somewhere big, maybe charge some government officials who are rumored to be running the operations.

There’s no need for more evidence. The good Bishop Cruz already gave the lead. Ordinary mortals have heard rumors and stories. Aquino might have heard these too. The only thing missing is the action.

The President should now walk the talk, and stop the jueteng game.


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