Govt’s loterya to fail vs jueteng
A senior Catholic Church official is not impressed with the government’s new bid to battle the illegal but popular numbers game “jueteng” through its new “Loterya ng Bayan.”
Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said the new game may suffer the same fate as Small Town Lottery – as a front for jueteng operators and a cash cow for corrupt officials.
“It’s the same story as the STL before. It is the same jueteng lords and jueteng operators who would take charge of running the Loterya. The name is changed but the reality is the same,” he said in an article posted early Tuesday on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news site (http://www.cbcpnews.com/?q=node/14565).
Cruz heads the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng and Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Sugal.
In expressing skepticism over “Loterya ng Bayan,” he also said the same operators will likely still jueteng over the Loterya because it has taxes to pay while jueteng income is all theirs.
“Another thing, as far as the raffle of the winning numbers of STL everybody — either by city, municipality or province — will draw their respective numbers exactly like jueteng. In lotto, at least there is one number nationwide but in STL everybody has the prerogative to make the numbers they wish to come out as a winning pair,” he said.
Cruz reiterated it takes only political will on the part of the public officials and the police authorities to get rid of jueteng.
He also said he and the other members of the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng are preparing to do battle with the Loterya ng Bayan.
“KBLJ is now rearranging its structure and reach in the country in order to precisely prepare the Krusada for the gambling game Loteryang Bayan which nurtures jueteng,” he said.
He said they already started reorganizing the group two weeks ago by “orienting its members on how the new game is played and how it exploits the poor people.” Julian Labores