i agree with conrado de quiros. the only way to deal with jueteng is is to legalize it.
i know, i know, many of you out there believe that jueteng is bad, it’s immoral, the poor waste their time and money on games of luck when they could be making sariling sikap (yeah likeplanting kamote) to lift themselves from poverty, and besides most jueteng profits fund patronage politics, so jueteng contributes to corruption big time, every greedy one is on the take, be it mayor or governor, police or military, congressman or senator, or president even, as we all know firsthand from erap’s impeachment trial, and what about the jose pidal senate hearings, buking na buking, the huge bribes can make it all the way to the top, grabe, so let’s do away with jueteng, yada yada….
but that’s the line mismo of the notorious anti-jueteng archbishop oscar cruz, the same archbishop cruz who condemns not just artificial contraception but even natural family planning (that advises against sex during ovulation) because it’s “inimical to the health.” ano daw? so he’s all for women having sex during ovulation, never mind if they can’t afford big families? why do we listen to him at all?
the archbishop likes to say that jueteng draws are rigged, the poor are being cheated, walang yumayaman kundi ang jueteng lords and their bribees. well, that’s not the fault of the poor who play, di ba? and this is where nga legalizing it would benefit the poor. legalizing means regulating means minimizing the cheating. meanwhile, malamang nga na some if not most draws are rigged, but i would think it’s more the exception than the rule, because the poor are not dumb, they have their own intelligence networks, and they wouldn’t continue to play if they never win or don’t win reasonably often enough.
also the archbishop speaks against gambling as if it were a sin. meron na bang 11th commandment na thou shalt not gamble? thou shalt not play games of luck? but why? where’s the harm? not everyone likes to gamble but that doesn’t make it harmful for those who do. all the negatives attached to gambling — such as losing money that could feed clothe and shelter family or driving one to steal or sell drugs to get the money to gamble — are extremes: why penalize all for the sins of a few?
twisted, di ba. and why blame the poor, why penalize the poor, for the corruption of the jueteng lords and of the government officials who protect them? why even think of depriving the poor of jueteng, the one game of luck they can afford to play and be thrilled by (one peso can win seven hundred, home service pa) that along with sex and alcohol make their miserable lives bearable, when the problem lies not with them but with the jueteng lords and their corrupt connections in government?
let’s face it, except temporarily and only in small areas at a time, there’s no wiping out jueteng. the challenge is how to legalize it so that a reasonable share of the profits go not into the pockets of crooked officials but are plowed back instead to pump-prime the economy and uplift the well-being of conditions of poor communities. what would it take? well, certainly not a government that’s intimidated by men in skirts.