To stop ‘jueteng,’ bishop says all Aquinio has to do is say the wordBy Tina G. Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
President Benigno Aquino can stop “jueteng,” an illegal numbers racket, if he wants to, according to Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz, an antigambling crusader.
“President Aquino only has to say the word and the country will get rid of jueteng,” Cruz said in an article posted on the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Cruz, head of Krusada ng Bayan Laban sa Jueteng, said he would emphasize this point in a Senate inquiry into the illegal numbers racket and the alleged shenanigans of resigned Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno on Friday.
“I will just put up some principle that if jueteng will not stop in the country, notwithstanding all the beautiful laws and decrees, it’s not because of the legislative but of the executive department,” Cruz said.
He said the executive department was tasked with implementing laws. “The legislative can just make laws. No matter how heavenly our laws [are], if the executive is sleeping on these, nothing happens,” he said in the article.
The matter now depends on the Aquino administration’s political will, Cruz said.
The retired archbishop earlier expressed reservations over attending another inquiry into jueteng but he changed his mind following a formal invitation from the Senate, which he received on Tuesday.
However, Cruz said he did not have a new exposé because he gave all the information he had about jueteng in the congressional investigations two years ago.
“They are not asking for data. I was asked to do something else, specifically on jueteng. What it is all about, etc. I think I might be able to contribute something,” Cruz said.
In the 2010 Senate inquiry, Cruz identified Puno as one of the ranking Aquino administration officials who were receiving up to P8 million in monthly payola from jueteng operators.
Last week, Cruz said the illegal numbers racket was alive as ever in the country, particularly in provinces in Luzon.