MANILA, Sept. 17, 2012—The Aquino administration’s alternative to curb jueteng will only be used to cover up the multi-million peso underground lottery, retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz said.
Cruz said that replacing the small town lottery (STL) with another form of legal gambling supposedly to end jueteng is doomed to fail.
“I am certain, this will be just another fiasco,” said Cruz, a vocal critic against gambling.
On Monday, President Benigno Aquino III said his administration will stop STL operations and will replace it with a “new game” to fight jueteng.
Cruz said that Aquino might be referring to the “Loterya ng Bayan” that will also be managed by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Just like the much-ballyhooed STL, however, he said it will only end up being front for jueteng operators and a cash cow for corrupt government officials.
According to him, many STL operators act as dummies for jueteng operators, using their PCSO ID cards if caught by authorities.
He said that jueteng is a profitable business that operators cannot but favor the illegal numbers game than the Loterya because it has taxes to pay while jueteng income is all theirs.
“The Loterya will only be used for jueteng operations because these bets are more profitable than the legal lottery,” he said.
Cruz reiterated that the government can stamp out jueteng if Aquino wants to. He said Aquino only has to say the word rather than legalize jueteng.
“This has long been said that since we cannot stop jueteng, let’s legalize it. This is a very shallow approach to this vice,” he said. [RL/CBCPNews]