What Went Before: ‘jueteng’



Just months into the Aquino administration, antijueteng crusader Archbishop Oscar Cruz submitted to the Senate a list of alleged “jueteng” operators and jueteng payoff recipients.

Among those identified as a jueteng operator was Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino Jr., who called Cruz’s accusation “a big lie.”

In a 2007 interview with the Inquirer, Espino, at the time the newly elected governor of Pangasinan, said jueteng was a “very good issue,” but added that it was “the least of [his] problems.”

“I have a lot of problems in the province,” said Espino, a former police and military officer and Pangasinan representative in Congress.

Another list, made by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, identified Charlie “Atong” Ang, a former gambling buddy of deposed President Joseph Estrada, as a top jueteng operator.

In March 2007, Ang, who was jailed as a coaccused in Estrada’s plunder case, pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of indirect bribery, and agreed to return P25 million, his share of tax kickbacks he was accused of diverting in conspiracy with Estrada.

Ang was released in 2009 after a two-year probation, and later decided to concentrate on the “legal” jai alai. He is currently connected with Meridien Vista Gaming Corp.


‘Stops, resurges, stops’

Several high-profile politicians have been linked to jueteng over the years, including Estrada and members of the family of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now a Pampanga representative.

During Estrada’s impeachment trial in December 2000, Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson testified that Estrada accepted payoffs from jueteng operators. Estrada was ousted from office a month later.

In June 2005, confessed jueteng bagmen Richard Garcia and Demosthenes Abraham “Abe” Riva told a Senate hearing that former first gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, his son Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo of Ang Galing Pinoy party-list group and Negros Oriental Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo (now deceased) were involved in jueteng.

In the same month, jueteng bagwoman and whistle-blower Sandra Cam also told the Senate that she personally handed jueteng money to Mikey Arroyo and Iggy Arroyo.

The Arroyos denied the accusations. In August 2005, Riva turned around and cleared the Arroyos. Garcia, too, backed off and apologized to the Arroyos in a televised news conference.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), which has stepped in to help police stop the resurgence of jueteng in Pangasinan, said it had encountered difficulties in arresting people involved in jueteng.

According to the NBI, jueteng in the province “stops, then resurges, then stops.”

In February this year, then Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said jueteng flourished in Pangasinan and nearby La Union and Ilocos Sur provinces despite government efforts to arrest and prosecute jueteng collectors.

‘Most resistance’

A police official in the Ilocos region said jueteng was “openly played in Pangasinan in the guise of jai alai.”

Prior to his death in August, Robredo had been on top of the fight against jueteng. He identified Pangasinan as one of the areas where he encountered “the most resistance.” The other places were Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Quezon and Batangas, Robredo said.

In September this year, Sen. Panfilo Lacson claimed that a regional police director may be getting between P2 million and P3 million monthly from jueteng operators, and that a provincial police director could be receiving as much as P1.5 million a month in protection money.

Lacson also placed the daily take from jueteng at P50 million.

The Philippine National Police, pressing a “one-strike policy,” has sacked several police officials because of their failure to curb jueteng in their areas. Among those relieved were Senior Insp. Allan Joy Medina Suratos of Alcala, Pangasinan, and Senior Insp. Roger Manuel Digmayo of Santo Tomas, Pangasinan. Both were relieved in June.

Source: Inquirer Archives

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 INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    The other places were Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Quezon and Batangas, Robredo said. 

    Pineda, Umali, Suarez, Santos mahiya naman kayo at mga probinsiya niyo ay malakas ang resistance! Hindi niyo ba kaya pigilan, tutulan, itigil ang jueteng sa inyong probinsiya, AT BAKIT HINDI?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UZF4OTGY4BREFE42RXP7FZJKFY Ding

      Tulad nung may life-threatening illness, hanggang ngayon threat pa rin sa pagbuti ng life sa bansa.

  • farmerpo

    Reading between the lines, one can easily discern that the jueteng network woven into the very fabric of our government is alive and kicking, thank you. Too much money dulls the senses of all concerned. Jueteng has no victims, just participants. This mantra is in the psyche of all jueteng allies. Allies in this sense are those who ‘earns’ without risk from jueteng. Get elected anywhere in Luzon and earn big big money….

  • kayanatwo


    nobody asked me, but…if the national govt. can not beat “jueteng”, i say, join them.. let the pagcor or pcso to put the seed money(capital) and manage the whole rackets.  make the jueteng legal thru-out the islands.  why waste time and money by doing endless senate hearings and investigation that usually ends up without visible and quantifiable good results.  

    the jueteng could be a new milking-cow for the pagcor or pcso. it could happened>>…

    i say stop these nonsense of trying to stop the jueteng.  let us face the truth.  there are milllion of our fellow juan dela cruz that could never in their life time would get rid of their innate urge to make a few bucks by betting on game of chance.  let us be realistic for a change on this jueteng matter.

  • nti_boohaya

    Kung NBI at kapulisan na saksakan ng mga mista mista ay sumusuko sa pagiimbestiga at walang nakakalap na matinding ibendensiya laban sa kapwa mista mista ay  i regulate na lang yan at sila na mismo ang ilagay bilang opisyales.  Tawagin na lang natin na pambansang magic show.

  • ApoLapullapu

    Jueteng cannot be stopped because people bet in the games.  Many gambling lords must have also contributed to the victory of ruling politicians including the President. Since people gamble, better legalize all forms of gambling. That way corrupt law enforcers cannot make money. The corruption shifts to the tax collectors but the law enforcers will run after them because they have no share of the take.
    In this country, any law that prohibits anything is a source of corruption.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UZF4OTGY4BREFE42RXP7FZJKFY Ding

      Pero, ang nagkasala sa batas sa panahong hindi pa ito legalized ay dapat ding managot sa batas, kasama ang mga kakutsaba…hindi porke high profile politician ang involved, gagawing legal ang naging kasalanan para mapawalang sala, eh, baka magkatanikala din sila sa leeg.

      • ApoLapullapu

        Under our existing laws against Illegal Gambling, it is very hard to prove betting in Jueteng because the bettors are not named in the game.  This is the reason why nobody has ever been penalized for betting or running Jueteng.  It is also difficult to have the Law on Illegal Gambling or Games of Chance amended by Congress because many of the Congressmen are directly or indirectly involved in Jueteng.

  • randyaltarejos

    Nobody knows who is telling the truth. If nobody will have the courage to divulge it in the open, who will?


    MAKE LACSON the jueteng CZAR and watch if he could totally annihilate jueteng from our midst, IF it is FEASIBLE to do so.  WALANG magagawa ang sumbong-sumbong na matagal ng ginagawa na wala naman ding nangyayari….puro pagpapalapad lamang ng papel at kodakan.  DAPAT dyan, ala DRUG problem’situation ang approach…golpe de gulat!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UZF4OTGY4BREFE42RXP7FZJKFY Ding

      ano ‘yan, gugulpihin muna bago gugulatin?  paano pa magugulat ‘yon?  mas maganda yata kung ibilanggo muna, bago ikulong…o kaya bitayin muna, bago i-firing squad.

    • Malik62

       Even if you make Ping Lacson the Jueteng Czar there is nothing much he could do because the fake hocus pcos presdient BS Aquino X3 himself is the kingpin of jueteng.  Unless of course Ping would go into a confessional mode–again–and confesses that BS is protecting the illegal jueteng industry.

      • UrHONOR

        SIYANGA, ha.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/55XNXOYBNF6BG3EWOM5V4YMWXM Pedro


  • Anqui

    Why talk of Jueteng specially in the highest level of the government like in the Senate which made series of hearings where it spent time and money and never made a single step to do something to make us feel good.  Please stop this Circus if no one have the courage to push it through…its a JOKE.  It appears that all who talked and do the investigation is on the TAKE like Governor Espino and Police officers in the identified provinces including those in Camp Crame who received P825,000 every month.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y35L4EYZGFTRCAUIUTPHXDN6HY Anak Mahirap

    Gawing legal para makinabang ang taong bayan at Hindi ang iilan. Matagal ng issue ito, ang taong bayan mismo ang sumusuporta. Siguro, mas maganda, create ng isang lotto na ang presyo ay parang hueteng, siguradong talo na yang hueteng na yan!

  • EdgarEdgar

    If only Noynoy went after the unshakeable Puno with the full force of the law, he could have sent a strong message against jueteng. By shaking Puno down, the administration would have gathered a lot of incriminating information that would have spared Mar Roxas the embarrassment of being impotent against the illegal numbers game. But since Puno is too well connected to Noynoy’s Tito Babalu, he was allowed to get away with destruction of evidence in the late Robredo’s office. Now even Governor Espino has something on this administration that goes all the way to the palace. Noynoy should have seen this coming.

    • Malik62

       Tito Babalu was the Kingpin of jueteng during Santatita Cory’s presidency.  Now the kingpin of jueteng is no other than BS Aquino X3 himself with Rico Puno as his bagman.  When Tito Babalu was the Kingpin of jueteng then, there were times when BS was broke and he would run to Tito Babalu to ask for money to sustain his vices.  At that early age BS  developed a certain fascination and fixation for jueteng money, how jueteng money enabled him to indulge in his vices. Now that he is the fake hocus pcos president, he created a cult of idol worship of jueteng money.

      • EdgarEdgar

        The gay president and his homosexual vices.

  • Malik62

    Now the motive for Robredo’s murder is becoming clearer.

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