MANILA, May 9, 2014— An anti-gambling crusader does not welcome the rumored appointment of former Cavite congressman Ayong Maliksi as head of a state-run lottery, but he wasn’t surprised.
Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz said it’s sad that someone linked to jueteng, an illegal numbers game, is being considered as chair of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
“I think he is a suspect in jueteng payolas…There are suspicions that are not too consoling, as far as he is concerned,” Cruz said.
Unconfirmed reports said that Maliksi, a member of the Liberal Party, is likely to be the replacement of resigned PCSO chief Margarita Juico.
The founder of the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng said this is not surprising though, since the Aquino administration is not a known hater of the multi-million underground lottery.
“What is ‘nice’ with this administration is that jueteng is de facto legal,” Cruz said.
“When the president was asked before why doesn’t he stop jueteng, he said it is not his priority — and it remains so until now,” he added.
On Friday, Malacañang announced the resignation of Juico as PCSO chair, citing family reasons as what prompted her to quit her post.
Juico yesterday resigned from the PCSO, saying she wants to spend more time with her family.
Maliksi is reportedly set to replace Juico, but has to wait for the expiration of the one-year ban on appointments for those that ran and lost in the May 2013 polls.
Maliksi lost his gubernatorial bid in the last national elections. (CBCPNews)