PNP submits to Duterte's will to let ''jueteng'' be
The Philippine National Police ( PNP) on Thursday said street level “jueteng” evolved into illegal drug trades once people connected with that have no place to run to.
In a statement, Police Colonel Bernard Banac, the PNP spokesman, said they submit to the wisdom of President Rodrigo Duterte on expressing his preference between illegal drugs and jueteng, which is considered as illegal gambling.
“We submit to the wisdom of the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his expression of preference to 'jueteng' than to drug trafficking as means of livelihood by some people among the poorest sectors of society,” said Banac.
He said the PNP has observed in the past decades that when they went all out against “jueteng” during its peak, street level “jueteng” activities evolved into illegal drug trade.
“Because some displaced jueteng workers had no other alternative source of livelihood, aside from the fact that drug trafficking is more profitable than jueteng,” said Banac.
“Nonetheless, the PNP cannot afford to be remiss in our duty to enforce the law against both illegal gambling and illegal drugs,” he added.
Banac said the PNP will continue to enforce the law against illegal numbers games, particularly “jueteng”, “masiao”, and last 2 as provided under PD 1602, as amended by RA 9287.
RA 9287 is an act increasing the penalties for illegal numbers games.
Banac said they will continue to support the regulated numbers game operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office thru the Small Town Lottery as a legalized alternative to “ jueteng”.
Last Tuesday, during his speech Duterte said he will leave jueteng operations for now as it is “lesser evil” compared to illegal drugs.
“Whoever you place as the president, for as long as the economy does not really provide food on the table for so many families, just let it… And if I abolish it, what will replace that is drug apparatus. So choose between the lesser evil,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS