Jueteng money used as poll funds – bishop

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MANILA, Jan. 13, 2013— Lords of jueteng continue to earn millions of pesos daily from the illegal numbers racket because the government is not keen in stopping their operations.

Anti-gambling crusader and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said the underground lottery will not proliferate in the country if the Aquino administration is serious in stopping it.

“Jueteng cannot be stopped in the country because the authorities concerned want jueteng to be operational,” said Cruz, founder of the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng.

“We have been fighting jueteng for so many years, for practically two decades and nothing happens. Malacanang is really not intent in getting rid of jueteng. Why? I don’t know,” he said.

He reiterated that jueteng will not flourish if it does not enjoy the protection of the police and government officials.

The former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Cruz also lamented that jueteng is again gaining more strength as the May 13 election draws closer.

According to him, it is during election season that a huge portion of jueteng proceeds go to campaign kitties of candidates from local to the national level who protect operators once they win.

“The money is for their election expenses. If you are a foreseen winner they’ll be the ones to offer so that if you win your mouth is shut. If you’re not winnable, they’ll give you also,” said Cruz.

Asked about the amount that these jueteng lords give to candidates, Cruz said this depends on how big the jueteng lord is as well as the position that a candidate is aspiring for.

“Now, how much exactly?  It will depend on the income of the jueteng lord and his agreement with the candidate,” he said.

He said the jueteng money for election expenses of politicians is different from the payola that some public officials receive on a regular basis.

“This is different from the payola because that is regular while this is occasional,” Cruz said. (CBCPNews)

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