Press Release
July 5, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 550:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Statement on Jueteng and Bato Dela Rosa's "shit happens" mindset

President Duterte and Sen. Bato dela Rosa support jueteng as the lesser evil. They actually entertain "going easy" on the illegal numbers game because it is a crime that "feeds people" rather than one that kills them. This is the reasoning used by public officials to justify their acceptance of a monthly payola from jueteng lords, in exchange for "going easy" on jueteng. You go easy on illegal drugs, chances are you are on the payroll of drug lords. The same is true with illegal gambling.

Even Dela Rosa's comparison of jueteng and drugs is misplaced. Duterte is not even against drugs, after he has gone easy on the smugglers of billions of pesos and tons of shabu in the past 3 years. He is actually against the poor. He has ordered their murder whether or not they use drugs. Three (3)-year old Myka could not have been using drugs when the police shot and killed her. It is being made to appear that she was killed for obstructing justice after she let her father use her as a human shield, a story that is doubtful in itself as it is absurd. Dela Rosa might as well introduce legislation lowering the age of criminal responsibility to "at birth" because, anyway, "shit happens".

Jueteng is always a syndicate, an organized crime which involves other crimes like money laundering, drugs, guns for hire, etc. There's no such thing as "only jueteng". It is always connected to other crimes because the infrastructure, network, and culture of crime, including payoffs to police, judges, prosecutors, local and national officials, is reinforced by jueteng. Those who say that jueteng is a lesser evil are most probably connected to it.

In driving out the illegal street vendors of Divisoria and Carriedo, Mayor Isko Moreno told the public that if the illegal vendors ever return to occupy the thoroughfares again, then that only means that he has accepted the reportedly astonishing daily payola of 5 million pesos from the illegal vendors syndicate. So Mayor Isko definitely did not go easy on the illegal vendors, even if their activity "feeds people" and did not kill anybody, because there is a law and Mayor Isko chose to enforce the law.

For a public official, especially a President and a former PNP Chief, enforcing the law is not even a choice. It is a duty and a mandate. Duterte and Dela Rosa only have two choices. Enforce the law against jueteng or legalize jueteng altogether. Of course, legalizing jueteng means the end of payola to jueteng's protectors in government. So better to keep it illegal and just "go easy" on it, to keep the payola flowing to these protectors.

Shit does happen, but it happens more often because we have a President and public officials who are more gangsters than law enforcers.

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