MANILA, Philippines — Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Monday moved for a separate investigation by the Senate on the alleged resurgence of jueteng (illegal numbers game) under the present administration as she called for the immediate removal from office of any government officials involved.
A similar move was initiated at the House of Representatives following a bishop's revelation that five government officials have been allegedly receiving payola from the said illegal numbers game.
Santiago filed a resolution directing the Senate blue ribbon committee being headed by neophyte Senator Teofisto Guingona III to investigate the matter as she expressed disappointment at how the Office of the President responded to the issue.
“The Office of the President responded to these recent revelations by challenging Mr. Cruz and others to name names, a standard defense which s unacceptable because identifying jueteng operator is the task of the DILG and the PNP chief,” said the resolution.
Cruz is Archbishop Oscar Cruz. DILG is Department of Interior and Local Government while PNP is Philippine National Police.
Jueteng although illegal, the resolution said, has been a source of lucrative illicit income since the time immemorial for certain public officials in any administration, notably the DILG secretary, his undersecretaries, and other subordinates; the PNP chief, the regional and provincial police directors and other certain mayors and governors.
“One of the most pressing challenges to an administration that adopted anti-corruption as a political platform should be the elimination of jueteng and the immediate removal from office of people surrounding the President when this early, such people are already raising suspicious about their complicity in jueteng because of their lack of competence, experience in anti-jueteng work and notoriety,” the resolution added.
Maila Ager, Phil. Daily Inquirer