‘Jueteng’ operates openly in 6 Metro Manila areas, nearby provinces


Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago stresses a point during Friday’s Senate hearing. MATIKAS SANTOS/

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago disclosed on Friday that money from “jueteng” amounts to an estimated P30 billion annually and the illegal numbers game operates openly in at least six cities in Metro Manila and in nearby provinces.

Santiago, head of the committee on constitutional amendments and revisions on codes and laws, said during the hearing that one percent of the revenues was given to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary or undersecretary, the Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) head.

The Senate inquiry was investigating resigned interior undersecretary Rico Puno, who was allegedly among the top government officials receiving protection money from “jueteng” lords.

Puno denied having any knowledge of protection money from “jueteng” lords being given to government official.

“Jueteng is still rampant. I said in 2010 that the system during that time was one percent will be paid [to the three government officials] and I gave the media a ballpark figure of P30 billion being earned yearly through jueteng,” Santiago said.

She said that, based on figures obtained in 2010 from “confidential agents,” in Metro Manila, which has 16 cities, “six have jueteng in full view of the public: Quezon City, Makati, San Juan, Manila, Pasay, Mandaluyong,” Santiago said.

The local governments were “tolerating jueteng, in the sense that they [jueteng operators] never get arrested,” she said.

Santiago added that in Central Luzon, the provinces of Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Zambales, and Pampanga have jueteng. In Region 4-A (Calabarzon), the provinces of Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, and Quezon also have jueteng.

Laguna has the biggest gross receipts at P14 million daily income from jueteng, Santiago said, adding that Pampanga and Pangasinan have P9 million, P8.5 million for Batangas, P8 millioin for Bulacan, and P7.5 million for Nueva Ecija and Quezon.

From the total gross receipts, 34 percent would be deducted as operational expenses while the remainder will be split on the national level with “one percent of the net earning goes to the syndicates consisting of the DILG secretary or undersecretary, PNP chief, and CIDG head, etc.,” Santiago said.

She described jueteng as “the biggest source of corruption in our country. When you talk of a culture of corruption in our country we’re talking actually of jueteng. The others are minute by comparison.”

Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz, who was invited to the hearing as a resource person, said that there were definitely protectors of jueteng, an observation that Santiago echoed.

“If that is the size of the money from jueteng, it means there is somebody protecting it. It’s impossible that there isn’t any,” Santiago said.

When Santiago was asked after the hearing about President Benigno Aquino’s statement that “jueteng is not a priority,” she said that she was dismayed.

“I’m completely dismayed by the statement because jueteng is so entrenched and it produces so much illicit income [that] it’s extremely difficulty to exterminate it unless Malacañang makes it a national priority,” she said.

“The roots have already gone down so deep that it will be very difficult to exterminate [jueteng],” she added.

Santiago said that jueteng would not flourish if there isn’t any protection from government officials.

“If the president simply said, ‘I will file administrative cases against every governor of a province, against very mayor of any town or municipality where jueteng flourishes’ … then everyone will be afraid,” she said.

“To be fair to the president, he probably meant [in his statement] that he has other things to take care of other than jueteng,” Santiago added.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • pulis

    Hindi priority ng Pangulo ang Jueteng kasi dyan sya tumitiba at good sign ito sa mga Drug Lord..Anak ng jueteng oo!

  • mahuli

    baka kaya yumaman din ng husto si merriam dahil sa asawa nya, dating usec ng DILG ang asawa nya siguro may payola.

  • PinasK0ngMahal

    eh di ba si ERAP napatalsik dahil sa jueteng payola. Epal talaga itong senadora na ito.

  • Josemakabayan

    I told you so! Jueteng is thriving, kubradores even collect bets from munisipyos and kapitolyos, even the police precincts, ang I don’t know why our officials are not lifting a finger to STOP IT???? Maybe because their hands are full of????? Your guess is as good as mine!!!!

  • pepengkabayo

    I gave the media a ballpark figure of P30 billion being earned yearly through jueteng,” Santiago said…

    This is again an over exaggerated figure of P30 billion, that is ballpark amount which means it might be double.
    If this figure is collected from jueteng alone, then no Filipinos are poor, we are a rich country.

    Jueteng is the game for the poorest of the poor. Bet is barya baray, only those who have really nothing bet on this game.
    Jueteng is rigged. So gamblers don’t bet, bank employees don’t bet, no class, gov’t employees don’t play, its shameful, rich don’t bet they go to casinos.
    Who are the players, the poorest of the poor. And when they place their bets, only change or barya, barya.

    Who in his right mind can come up with this 30billion figure. Only one whose imagination is not normal.
    If 30billion is collected annually, we Filipinos are rich people.

    • LucianoChing

      Do your research…There are a lot of Filipinos betting up to 4,500 a day.You donot talk about barya-barya here.In my hometown alone,the average collection per day is a conservative 300thousand….You claim that gov’t.employeess don’t bet? My God,there are even bet collectors doing their trade inside the Municipal Hall and the Police station…Believe it or not,almost all policemen bet on jueteng.Dito sa amin,2000 a month ang natatanggap ng bawat rank and file na pulis….

      • pepengkabayo

        Kalokohan, that’s nonsense.
        300thousand a day…baka 300thousand baryang mamera.

      • LucianoChing

        I will give u my email ad and will invite you to my place so it will come out full of sense….d ka nagsusugal siguro kaya u r in the is three hundred thousand pesos….heheheh

      • LucianoChing

        Follow Sen. Lacsons’ math on PNP “take” on jueteng and just figure out the “figures”…That’s a lot of money……

  • nti_boohaya

    30 billion and none for the good senator?  Kaya pala shi ni shake down si Puno.  Mga ibang senadors tahimik at mga iba pumapapel dahil ahemmnnnnnn.. Ngayon pa na may darating na halalan.  Never heard na may mga barangay chief, mayor o gov na umaangal sa jueteng.  Councilor meron dahil di sila napapartehan. Right madam Miriam? 

  • Banana Na

    maski sino umupo dyan ay may JUETENG talaga, di mo maalis yan, ganyan din yan sa ibang bansa maski mahigpit ang government ay di nila ma-alis-alis ang ganyan sugal…di kontrolin mo ang mga nagsusugal….haaaa…..para walang jueteng….

  • Kristoffer Atienza

    Yes. Mandaluyong is one of the cities Jueteng thrives.

  • Hey_Dudes

    Lotto winnings has made many Filipino winners millionaires.  What about jueteng?  Has anyone winning jueteng emerged as instant millionaire? What is in this jueteng that seems to spark anger among politicians like the madam senadora? 

  • Pedro


To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos