Archbishop frowns on STL expansion
MANILA, Feb. 2, 2017— Instead of putting an end to “jueteng,” the government instead risks the further spread of the illegal numbers racket by expanding the small-town lottery operations, warned a Catholic archbishop.
Anti-gambling crusader and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said underground lottery will not proliferate in the country if the government is serious about a crack down.
“The expansion of jueteng would just result to the proliferation of jueteng games,” Cruz, founder of the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng, warned over Radio Veritas on Wednesday.
The archbishop was reacting to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s expansion of STL operations from only 18 to to 56 areas nationwide.
PCSO chairman Jose Jorge Corpuz said the expanded STL operations could increase the agency’s revenues to Php27 billion this year, aside from being the “government’s weapon” against illegal gambling.
Cruz said jueteng, which is tax-free, is a more profitable business for operators because all income goes to them, unlike STL.
He added, it has become common knowledge that many STL operators act as dummies for jueteng lords, using their PCSO-issued identification cards when caught by police.
“Doesn’t the government know that STL is being used as cover for jueteng?” asked the prelate.
He also reiterated that jueteng would not have flourished until now if it had not enjoyed the protection of the police and government officials. (CBCPNews)