Press Release
August 14, 2006


Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today called for a reopening of the Senate inquiry into the proliferation of jueteng in view of allegations that police authorities are not only protecting but running the illegal numbers game themselves.

Pimentel said PNP Director General Oscar Calderon should be summoned to the probe to explain what he has done to fulfill his pledge to eradicate jueteng, masiao and other forms of illegal gambling.

He deplored that jueteng continues to thrive contrary to the governments claim that it will lose patronage with the introduction of Small Town Lottery (STL) or legalized jueteng since last year.

It may be time to restart the Senate investigation into the jueteng game. The investigation was suspended on the understanding that it may be resumed if the circumstances warrant it, Pimentel said.

If there is indeed a resurgence of jueteng as alleged by former jueteng witnesses and by Archbishop Oscar Cruz himself, then the investigation of the numbers game may be in order.

Director General Calderon will also be asked by the senators about the PNPs implementation of the 2004 law that imposes heavier penalties on those involved in illegal gambling, the Mindanao lawmaker said.

During a press conference of the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Sugal last week, jueteng witness Wilfredo Boy Mayor claimed that jueteng operations are back 100 percent in the whole of Luzon.

Pimentel said Senate probers would try to verify such allegation from new witnesses that they will invite for the inquiry.

There is one witness who volunteered to testify before the Senate committee, he said.

Sen. Frank Drilon, as chairman of the committee on public order and illegal drugs, should probably resume the investigation, according to the minority leader.

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