TODAY'S HEADLINES

Jueteng fronts? PNoy orders review of all STL contracts

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -  President Benigno Aquino III has ordered a review of all existing Small Town Lottery contracts amid reports these are being used as fronts of jueteng operators.

Aquino said, in an interview in Lucena City on Monday, that STL, as an experiment aimed at ending jueteng, is now "over."

The President said the "Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), together with the Office of the Executive Secretary, the Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Justice, are reviewing all STL contracts as to when these would lapse and when would we replace (STL).”  The STL is under the supervision of the PCSO, which acts on applications for franchises.

The comprehensive plan will address not only jueteng but other illegal numbers game, Mr. Aquino added.

Testifying at the Senate on Friday, Philippine National Police Director General Nicanor Bartolome said jueteng operators, collectors and runners often evade arrest by showing identification cards issued by the PCSO to STL operators.

"Meaning, they (jueteng operators) have their own identification cards for STL operations," Bartolome said.

The PNP chief 1,666 cases of illegal gambling have been filed since January this year.

On Sunday, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, himself a former PNP chief under President Estrada, confirmed Bartolome’s revelations. He said the double role assumed by the jueteng collectors---who manage to get STL ID cards which they flash whenever they are apprehended for jueteng---has stalled the campaign against illegal gambling. And, in some cases, this has landed the arresting policemen in trouble for “harassing” supposedly legitimate PCSO-sanctioned employees.