Press Release
September 30, 2010 1:30 p.m.

Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III

This is the second hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the issue of Jueteng in the Aquino administration.

Where there is jueteng, there is corruption. When the Governor or Mayor and the local police chief conspire to allow jueteng to proliferate in their localities or worse, become the jueteng lords themselves, there is automatically a failure of local governance.

Jueteng is not just a form of illegal gambling; it is an organized crime which perpetuates and thrives in corruption. It is an illegal operation that has become so big that jueteng money has determined the results of elections in some parts in the country.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):

Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon... Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes... [1]

On November 8, 2006, the Philippines ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Part of our State obligation in the Convention is to provide an anti-corruption policy which promotes the participation of the wider society which reflects the principles of:

1) The rule of law;
2) Proper management of public affairs and public property;
3) Integrity;
4) Transparency; and
5) Accountability [2]

Thus, in these investigations, we shall explore a more integrated and wholistic approach in combating jueteng since to combat jueteng is to combat corruption.

Considering the magnitude of jueteng operations, we shall also look at issues of money laundering, asset recovery, as well as the protection of witnesses which are all part of our State obligation under the Convention against Corruption.

Since we have invited the Anti-Money Laundering Council, we shall also examine the breadth and extent of RA 9160 as amended when it comes to its regulatory powers for banks and non-bank financial institutions including natural and legal persons that provide formal or informal services for the transmission of money or value and, where appropriate, other bodies particularly susceptible to money laundering.

We have also invited the BIR who are supposed to run after these alleged jueteng lords not through charges of illegal gambling itself but through tax evasion.

The end product of these investigations is law reform because we are the legislative department. But this does not mean that the executive that as we speak cannot conduct its all out war on jueteng by firing hoodlums in government, investigating and prosecuting those who are involved, and setting an example of what "daang matuwid" is really all about.

Some 15 million people voted for the President since they believed in good governance. They believed that "kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap." Ngayon alam ng lahat na maraming corrupt sa gobyerno kaya may jueteng.

As a new government against corruption, let us fulfill our respective mandates. On the part of the legislative department, we are investigating in aid of legislation because it is our mandate. As for the mandate of the executive, we challenge them to enforce the law without fear or favor since that is theirs.

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