MANILA, Oct. 1, 2012—Alarmed with the reported flourishing of the illegal numbers game “jueteng” in public schools, Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon said he would investigate if it has indeed reached his turf.
Baylon said it is important for both government and Church leaders to confirm first if the reports are true, in order to “properly” nip the problem in the bud.
The chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) said it is important to identify the “Kubradors:” if they are the teachers, students or other people working in the school community.
“It is best to determine first if there is really jueteng in schools before you look for the remedy to monitor and curtail the presence of gambling,” he said.
“The approach will be different if school children is acting as agents or if the teachers themselves. More so if the operation of jueteng is permitted by the school administrator,” he added.
For his part, Baylon said he would launch his own investigation in the Diocese of Legazpi, asking catechists and youth volunteers who are greatly immersed with public school youth.
“We have to identify the means (by which jueteng entered the school setting) because if the reports are true, then it is really alarming,” he said.
Earlier, retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz revealed that the illegal numbers game has inflicted at least four public schools in Central Luzon and another one in Metro Manila. The prelate said students are “wooed” to bet their allowance to the underground lottery, which is very affordable with a minimum bet of P10 to P20.
The Catholic Church espouses an anti-gambling advocacy, whether through legal or illegal means, saying it leads to moral corruption.
But Baylon said gambling should not be a concern of the Church alone.
“Gambling is not a religious problem, it is a social one. It doesn’t relate to religion, so it is both a concern of the government and the church, both public and private schools,” he added. (YouthPinoy)