Press Release
August 22, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today dared Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Calderon to prove that he is not mounting a superficial or cosmetic campaign against jueteng by jailing and prosecuting big-time gambling lords.

Pimentel said the crackdown on jueteng will just be a farce if only the lowly cobradores or bet collectors will be targetted and caught in the PNPs renewed crackdown.

He said the new Anti-Jueteng Law (Republic Act 9287), which took effect in 2004, imposes heavier penalties on operators and personnel of underground gambling outfits and strengthens the hand of law enforcement agencies in going after gambling syndicates.

But he assailed the apparent failure of the PNP to use this law in the anti-drive. Instead he said the PNP is still using an antiquated Marcos decree in arresting and prosecuting illegal gambling operators and personnel.

Smarting from the criticism by the Krusada ng Bayan Laban sa Sugal over the resurgence of jueteng in the whole of Luzon, Gen. Calderon warned that PNP commanders at the regional, provincial and other levels will be relieved of their posts if they could not stop the outlawed numbers game in their territorial jurisdictions.

Lets see if PNP Director General Oscar Calderon can implement his order without fear or favor, Pimentel said.

Many of his predecessors said the same thing but jueteng continued to proliferate. Big money is involved in jueteng and not too many people are able to resist its allure.

At the same time, Pimentel lauded the assurance of Senate President Manuel Villar and Sen. Franklin Drilon, chairman of the Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs, that they will support the reopening of the inquiry into the jueteng scandal.

He said, however, that the probe will be fruitful only if new witnesses will come out in the open and sacrifice for the good of the nation by naming names.

A witness has approached me and asked me to present him as a witness, Pimentel said. I am willing to do so if he is willing to appear before the Senate committee without any conditions. I assume that he is still alive and is not afraid to do so. Otherwise, the Senate might as well forget about ferreting out the truth about the jueteng menace that threatens the existence of our democratic experiment.

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