• Aquino’s ‘pork’ comes from gambling, says prelate

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    RETIRED Archbishop Oscar Cruz has given up the fight against jueteng, saying that as Benigno Aquino 3rd is president, the illegal numbers game will flourish.

    Cruz claimed that the President’s pork barrel, the Presidential Social Fund (PSF), comes from illegal gambling.

    “We have practically surrendered. We will no longer be active as before [in fighting jueteng]. We have done everything to solve the problem but we don’t see victory under this government,” the prelate told The Manila Times.

    Asked to explain what he meant by “surrender,” Cruz said he sees no light in his groups’ crusade against illegal gambling because Aquino himself made jueteng operations “de facto legal.”

    “When he assumed the presidency, he was asked why he doesn’t seem interested to stop jueteng despite his daang matuwid [straight path]. He said it is not his priority.

    The conclusion is that there is no hope under him for jueteng to stop,” he stressed.

    Cruz said that winning combinations are being published openly in public markets and bet collectors are freely roaming in the provinces.

    The bishop also deplored the police’s half-hearted campaign against jueteng.

    “These are all symbolic gestures from the PNP [Philippine National Police]. They make arrests once in a while and usually they net only the small fry. Those really blatantly involved in jueteng are the local executives from the mayor to the governor,” he said.

    Cruz said that as of latest count, income derived from jueteng ranges from a whopping P35 billion to a maximum of P50 billion a month.

    “Jueteng is there. It has become some kind of a daily bread for a lot of people. There is really no serious action against it,” the prelate bewailed.

    He said their hopes dimmed further when Malacañang repeatedly defended the PSF, whose funds come from legal gambling operations of authorized government corporations such as the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).

    “Presidential pork is funded by gambling . . . as long as the sitting president is in Malacañang, nothing will happen [against illegal gambling],” Cruz said.

    But Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. insisted that the PSF is not a form of pork.

    “Pagcor funding for PSF is in accordance with law,” he said in a text message.
    The PSF is considered as one of the funds lumped under the Special Purpose Fund (SPF) of the President which is being touted as Aquino’s own “pork barrel.”

    It cannot be scrapped, according to another Palace spokesman, Abigail Valte, because it is not part of the annual General Appropriations Act. Besides the PSF, other lump sum funds under the SPF are the calamity fund, the contingency fund, and miscellaneous personnel benefits fund.

    Expressing his exasperation over their “lonely crusade,” Cruz said that even the Senate did not help his group’s crusade to end jueteng.

    “We had whistleblowers with us several times. We went to the Senate several times.

    We have submitted to them the list of complete names of known illegal gambling operators. And all those times, nothing happened,” Cruz said.

    As early as 2010 and just months into the Aquino administration, Cruz submitted to the Senate a list of alleged “jueteng” operators and jueteng payoff recipients. He named Gov. Amado Espino Jr. of Pangasinan among the operators, which the local executive flatly denied.

    In 2005, confessed jueteng bagmen Richard Garcia and Demosthenes Abraham Riva linked former first gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, his son Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo and the late Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo of Negros Oriental to jueteng.

    Prior to his death, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo led the fight against jueteng. Like Cruz, he identified Pangasinan as one of the areas where he encountered “the most resistance.” The other places were Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Quezon and Batangas.

    Former Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who is also a former chief of the PNP, figured that a regional police director got between P2 million and P3 million monthly from jueteng operators, and that a provincial police director receives as much as P1.5 million.

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    8 Comments

    1. joebert banderas on

      kayo naman mga religious leaders bakit hindi mahinto ang gambling ,corruption at iba pang mga kasamaan sa mundo dahil tumatanggap din kayo ng perang galing dyan.Kung saan meron malaking perang galing sa mga illegal kasama naman kayo na nakikinabang.Si Kristo at mga Apostol dati kailan man ay hindi tumatanggap ng pera na galing sa masamang gawa wala kang mabasa sa bibliya.Nagpapatunay lang na hindi kayo sa Dyos ang mgha bulaang propeta pastor o pari ang kanilang dyos ay pera.

    2. magtanggol hustisya on

      Duon sa iloilo, ang pinuno ng cidg iloilo ay isang babae na nagtapos sa pnpa. Biruin nyo, sya ang nangunguna sa koleksyon sa mga operators ng pasugalan. ang ginagamit niya ang asawa niyang po3. malungkot dahil utos ng director ng cidg no take policypero wala naman binigay pangastos kaya gumawa ng inisyatibo si mam upang may pang gastos sa tangapan at pamamahay niya… babae, lalaki sa pnp puro pera nasa kukote…

    3. bkit ang simbahan may pa-bingo, may pa-raffle, may pabentahan ng ticket, tumatanggap ng abuloy galing sa mga politokong kurap at pribadong mamamayan na batid ng maraming sangkot sa iligal na gawain…ano po ang tawag dito…biyayang galing sa langit???

      ang kapwa niya pare ay kung hindi nabistong humingi ng sasakyan bilang regalo sa kanila noong panahon ni arroyo…samantalang alam nila ang malawakan at talamak na kurapsyon at pandaraya sa arroyo administration…ano ito..biyaya muli galing sa mga palad ng Diyos???

      isa pa ay nabanggit noon ng yumaong kalihim robredo na ang pangasinan ay isa sa mga lugar na malawakan ang jueteng…ano ba si oscar cruz sa pangasinan…siya ang arsobispo…bkit hindi niya nakayang palakasin ang panawagan niya sa mga taga-pangasinan na huwag tangkilikin ang jueteng…bkit di niya nagawang maituwid ang mga tao sa pangasinan at iiwas sa jueteng…kung ang kanyang maliit na nasasakupan ay di niya nagawang iwasto at ilagay ayon sa kanyang nais…papaano niya ito gagawin sa buong bansa???

      • di niya talaga mapapanalo ang kampanya againstjueteng, kung di ka maniniwala sa kanya… kung may mga pari namang tumatanggap ng biyaya galing sa mga iligal, di siya yun… porket pari siya, tulad na rin ba niya kasamahan niya! duh?!

    4. The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing – edmund burke… jueteng is still around in daang matuwid… everyone can prove that… but eradication of jueteng is not the priority of this administration… allegations of the Archbishop ay di na pinapatulan lalo na ng mga kinauukulan na nakikinabang… at least the Archbishop is doing his job though he knows from the start that he couldnt win the fight against jueteng… in my area, jueteng is rampant… pero kanino ko isusumbong? sa mga protector na nasa PNP? sa media na naka payroll? all i can do is… WAG TUMAYA SA JUETENG!

    5. The retired archbishop can’t seem but cast aspersions and accusations on politicians he does not particularly like. In the process, I’m afraid, he makes himself too partisan and less and less respectable as a man of the cloth, if not downright ridiculous. A lot of what comes out of his mouth does not fit him as an ecclesiastic. I suspect he really does not like being retired.

      • Pinoy Makabayan on

        Partisan? Who else will expose the ugly truth if you want everybody on Noynoy’s side, even if he is on the wrong side. You cannot expect a religious man to condone gambling. All Christian-bred people like Noynoyshould know that it is against God’s will.