STAUNCH jueteng critic archbishop emeritus Oscar Cruz on Wednesday challenged Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada to eradicate the illegal numbers game in Manila.
“My only hope and prayer is that he would really put down his foot on jueteng primarily because it’s illegal,” Cruz, head of the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng (KBLJ) said.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) official also urged the former president to save the poor from abuses of jueteng operators.
“The first victims of jueteng are the ignorant poor because they are being milked by jueteng operators, lords and protectors,” Cruz lamented.
Back in 2001, Estrada was impeached as president after he was accused of receiving over P500 million proceeds from the illegal numbers game as claimed by Gov. Luis Chavit Singson of Ilocos Sur.
Cruz expressed hope that after being pardoned in 2007, Estrada will turn his back from jueteng.
Meanwhile, the retired bishop expressed dismay that the Malacañang Palace doesn’t prioritize the elimination of the aforementioned game.
“It has never been the priority of Malacañang to take out jueteng [Paano hindi naman priority ng Malacañang ang alisin ang jueteng]. When President PNoy took over, at once, I raised up the question of jueteng because it’s not only corrupt but also very corrupting and the biggest victims are the poor who are ignorant and the great beneficiaries are the jueteng protectors,” Cruz said.