The online news portal of TV5
On the defensive after Senator Panfilo Lacson said that police nationwide partake of as much as P50 million a day from illegal numbers games, the Philippine National Police on Monday said it has over the past months actually dismissed over 100 officers for various violations, including for involvement in jueteng.
PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., however, could only say that a "very significant" and "substantial" percentage of the 100 dismissals were related to jueteng, without giving any specific figures.
Cerbo's statement came after Senator Lacson said that an estimated P50 million are generated from "jueteng" collections daily, a huge chunk of which, the senator said, is distributed among police officers and local government officials.
Cerbo said the PNP currently has in place a "one-strike policy" against illegal gambling and reiterated that no one is exempted from this policy.
"We are looking at this (involvement of police officers in jueteng) and no one is exempted from this. If there is evidence to warrant an administrative case then we will (act on it)," Cerbo told reporters on Monday.
The PNP has acknowledged difficulties in eradicating jueteng, citing socio-economic factors.
"Pagdating sa probinsiya, munisipyo, well practically lahat ng tao magkakakilala…mga debt collectors mga kapitbahay, magkakamag-anak…kaya on the part of the PNP, LGUs, nandun yung difficulty na nanghuhuli ka ng mga taong kakilala mo," Cerbo said. (In the provinces and municipalities, practically everyone knows everybody else. Debt collectors, neighbors, everyone's related. So on the part of the PNP and LGUs, there's that difficulty of having to arrest people you know.)
But he quickly added this was not an excuse for officials to stop its fight against jueteng.
"Di namin ito ginagawang dahilan…mandato pa rin ng pulis na ma-eradicate ito," Cerbo said. (We're not making excuses. It remains the mandate the police to eradicate this problem.)