MANILA, Philippines—Most politicians are “betting on jueteng” to help finance their election campaign.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima told Inquirer editors and reporters over dinner on Wednesday that the illegal numbers game has become a fund-raising activity of sorts for politicians running for government posts.
Sociologists have said that poor Filipinos turn to jueteng as an alternative to the lack of jobs and livelihood, hanging on to the small bet-quick cash action.
However, some politicians partake of its multimillion peso proceeds and even operate it, resulting to a thriving underground industry.
Deposed President Joseph Estrada was convicted of plunder for receiving P545 million worth of proceeds from jueteng.
Purisima said jueteng continues to be rampant because it has found a “shield” in the government-sanctioned small town tottery run by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
In 2005, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo tasked the PCSO to help in eradicating illegal numbers game through the STL.
“Jueteng lords have a shield. STL is a legal game that has a franchise from PCSO,” Purisima said.
Purisima said the police could not go after jueteng lords and operators because the National Police Commission (Napolcom) had issued a resolution “prohibiting policemen from conducting raids against STL without the permission of the PCSO or the franchise owner.”
He said the Napolcom resolution was issued in 2008.