Why is the Catholic Church so against jueteng?

I’m starting to wonder about this whole witch-hunt going on for the lords of jueteng (a lucrative illegal numbers game popular in the Philippines). Recently, a retired Catholic bishop called out the names of a number of folk supposedly in the take of the jueteng money train. Among those listed was Undersecretary Rico Puno who is now under strong pressure to resign no thanks to his inability to give a straight answer when pressed for his personal view on these allegations.

All this speculation and hearsay factoids being exchanged over the ether makes for good Media and “Opposition” fodder, doesn’t it?

My usual outside-the-square wonder about this issue revolves around what’s in it for the Catholic Church and its whole high-and-mighty “crusade” against illegal gambling. Perhaps to many it is not surprising that politicians, the police, and much of the whole (albeit flaccid) military-industrial complex of the Philippines seem relatively uninterested in clamping down on jueteng. There was a lot of platitudes dished out about it during the presidential campaign, but as we know now, all that came back to bite the very people who so self-righeously preached about it when making their pitch to the voters.

However, the only entity or institution consistent in their position against jueteng is none other than the Roman Catholic Church.

Things that make you go hmmm…

Could it be that perhaps it is because the Church is the only player in big-time Philippine feudalism that does not take home a sizable slice of the jueteng pie?

Not surprising, considering that the little peso coins and bills that would’ve gone into its “collections” during Sunday masses probably now get sucked into this more “engaging” activity during the weekends.


About benign0

benign0 is the Web master of GetRealPhilippines.com
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49 Responses to Why is the Catholic Church so against jueteng?

  1. anonymous says:

    “Could it be that perhaps it is because the Church is the only player in big-time Philippine feudalism that does not take home a sizable slice of the jueteng pie?”

    “Not surprising, considering that the little peso coins and bills that would’ve gone into its “collections” during Sunday masses probably now get sucked into this more “engaging” activity during the weekends.”

    This certainly feels like tin-foil territory. I thought you guys were above the propensity of Filipinos to base their truths/facts on “tsismis” or hearsays? And to think you guys call yourselves the Philippines’ “enlightened” ones. That notion is laughable in itself.  😆

    • benign0 says:

      Nah. It’s on solid ground. That is of course unless you are up to the challenge of coming up with a counter-argument (something that is glaringly absent in your above comment, by the way).

      Keep on trying…. 😀

      • anonymous says:

        What is there to counter-argue when you don’t even have any points in this poorly written excuse of an article?  😆

        Fact: Your argument is a slippery-slope logical jump from the conclusion. It’s subjective speculation pathetically clothed  on pseudo-intellectualism. An objective article would only state the facts minus the speculative tin-foil hogwash.

        Lest you misunderstand me, I hate the Church but not for the unsubstantiated points you stated here. Do yourself a favor, let the others write because they at least have the brains and common sense to write a decent tirade  😀

      • benign0 says:

        ====start quote: anonymous said below
        What is there to counter-argue when you don’t even have any points in this poorly written excuse of an article?
        ====end quote: anonymous said above

        Just because you don’t see the points doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t any.

        Keep on trying. You might just stop missing these points at some time in the future. 😀

      • heyhey says:

        lol sorry mr. writer but i gotta agree with this guy. much as i have no great love for the Catholic Church here either, your claims frankly sound conspiratorial without any solid basis. it’s hogwash-y at best. 

        do you have sources to substantiate your claims?

      • jemon says:

        The church is against Jueteng. Maybe because they see it as competition. And Benigno insists there is a point somewhere there. Jejeje.

      • Ponse says:

        Normally I enjoy your articles and I’m not a big fan of the Catholic Church but it pains me to agree with that others. This is a  opinion and speculation piece. Tin foil? Perhaps. 

      • anonymous says:

        What’s also hypocritical here is he tries to lambast me (fail) for my comment was meant to be a constructive criticism of his article so he becomes more objective next time but I guess he can’t put his money where his mouth is.

        Like you, I also normally like his articles because it’s straight to the point and realistically conveys the downside of Filipino culture but what’s laughably ironic here is that he has written tirades against the propensity of Filipinos who get emotional over constructive criticism but he gets mad himself when the same constructive criticism is leveled against him. I have another qualm about Filipino culture – everyone thinks all rules should apply to others except themselves. And yes Benign0, you’re included in this  😉

      • jemon says:

        Well how can they accept criticisms when they think everyone outside of them is stupid.. I think they are all now swimming in their own shit and they pretend to enjoy it. jejeje..

    • Jay says:

      Please elaborate on how it is tin-foil territory. As much as we can trade barbs on how the PCC (Philippine Catholic Church) and their direct/indirect involvement with politics then and now, with their own means the timing certainly makes one think. Jueteng has been an on/off political issue but the church, or at least any former member, has never been this vocal about it before and against specific people.

      The PCC were never a group to pull off stunts like this unless it offered some motivation.

  2. Aegis-Judex says:

    Morally speaking, the Church is in the (ehem! :mrgreen: ) position to give those jueteng lords the (ehem! :mrgreen: ) finger, considering that gambling is reprehensible enough on its own. (Forgive my spamming of double entendres. I may be devout, but I’m not blind to the Judas Iscar-iyots–er, I mean Iscariots–that give Holy Church a bad name.)

  3. ako ang simula ng pagkabobo says:

    when will TRUTH COMM investigate Rico “Arroyo” and Tony Boy “Arroyo”?

  4. kssael says:

    If they would go against jueteng, then why not they include casinos as well FFS.

    • Jay says:

      Or bingo halls, or any form of gambling for that matter? Or the sabongan circles if even.

    • ChinoF says:

      True. The fierce stance against jueteng, while saying barely anything about STL, is indicative of a double standard. This should be an issue.

      • ChinoF says:

        Ahem, that should have been, “barely anything about legal lotteries.”

      • jemon says:

        or stock market, jejeje.. see where your logic is going, guys?

      • Jay says:


        Oh you. Sometimes I’m stupefied at how you want to drag things out for no logical reason.

        The reason it is not gambling is because there are predictable methods to investing and gaining in the stock market, while even the best gambler takes tremendous risk in what amounts to be a zero sum situation.

        The unpredictable nature of stock markets are risky, but not completely like methods of gambling.

      • jemon says:

        @jay predictable ba o unpredictable? can you for once make up your mind? arf arf! jejeje..

  5. palebluedot_ says:

    relying on the offertory pouches to finance my church project, i have come to the point of telling a lot of priests to get over their pretense of being against any form of gambling (legal or not). privy of the daily income of some parishes, i realized that most of their larger incomes are from gambling winnings. an average-income devout catholic will give a minimum of 20 pesos during ordinary days, and 100 pesos on special days. lower than the lowest banknote are usually from students, unemployeds & poor pensioners. if the church receives more than 100 pesos, they are mostly with intentions (for fast health recovery, for passing an exam). but the church also receives large sums of money, and many of these amounts are from anonymous donors. having done interviews re this large donations, there are 2 major types of sources, all boils down to one word: luck. the first one is when one is lucky enough to have landed a higher position at work or lucky enough to pass the bar/board exam or lucky enough to sell large properties or lucky enough to have received remittances from abroad. the second type of source are from those who are lucky enough to have won a game of chance…legal or illegal. somebody who wins the PCSO lotto, will usually give a large percentage of the winnings to the church. somebody who have won in jueteng will also give a large percentage of the winnings to the church. you seldom have people lucky to get jobs, pass exams, or sell properties). but winning in a gamble is a daily activity. have you seen church buildings suddenly growing or being painted anew & beautified? in most case, it is thanks to someone who has won in gambling.

    it’s irritating to hear priests condemning gambling (casinos, lotto, jueteng) when they and their church (and my project) are almost always the major recipients of the winnings of these games. they should in fact formulate prayers like: praying for winning in gambling, because it’s through this exercise that made the catholic church sustain its daily activities. nauseating hypocrites gyud! :mrgreen:

  6. red says:

    coz Jueteng is far worse than fondling little boys.

  7. Lilly says:

    “Could it be that perhaps it is because the Church is the only player in big-time Philippine feudalism that does not take home a sizable slice of the jueteng pie?”
    Actually Oscar Cruz did mention that there are several dioceses that receive a chunk of the jueteng proceeds.
    Also, I think I’m getting the point why jueteng should be banned outright and not legalized. Once jueteng is legalized, that’s where taxes comes in, and when taxes come into play, the pot is significantly lowered and the proceeds doesn’t look so lucrative anymore compared to when it was still illegal and tax free. Case in point: compare STL and jueteng. 
    I don’t think the crux of this problem is still jueteng and its proposed legalization. It’s just another instance of the sad Pinoy psyche hard at work.

    • Jay says:

      Meaning once it becomes legalized, it won’t attract as much as when it was a criminal activity (like many lucrative criminal activities) and then when they stop regulation of it, the opportunists come in once again to make quick money again. A vicious cycle potentially.

      • No Idea says:

        I don’t even understand why prostitution and jueteng cannot be legalized. They should be to protect the sex workers and so that “jueteng” can be taxed. Brings livelihood too, something we need so bad. I also added prostitution so that these sex workers can be given “dignity” (not manhandled by their pimps and police) and can be given medical services to protect the community from the HIV virus. I have very little respect for the Catholic Chutch or any organized religion because they usually are ONLY a business.

      • Hyden Toro says:

        In Amsterdam, Holland: prostitution is legal. Prostitutes are even displayed on window glass casings, like in the department stores window displays. If you want a good time. Just go inside, like buying a pound of meat. Receipts are given, before the service. Tickets are also given, in case your choice is serving other customers. In Nevada, U.S.A. It is legal. You can pay credit card, if you don’t have cash. Their business name will be covered in different identity on your credit card statement of account. I don’t find anything wrong in legalizing them. People are doing it in illegal way, for a long time Catholic Priests and Bishops are even some of the frequent customers. 😆

      • Lilly says:

        Yep, got it right Jay. Here in the Philippines, once you legalize a vice, the usual suspects will just create another “taxfree” version of that particular vice to take advantage of the people looking  for a cheaper alternative, effectively killing the legalized activity (since it costs more due to taxes imposed, and lowered pot).

        We probably should look into fixing the system first before legalizing jueteng.

      • Kuliglig says:

        The Church should realize that they and the government, are not united on this drive against jueteng. While the church is taking the high moral ground and wants it abolished, the government just want a piece of the pie, or else, will try to compete with it. These facts alone should makes the jueteng issue POINTLESS.

        In the eyes of the church, the poor gambling addicts are the victims, while the government really sees itself as the tax evasion victim and don’t really care for the gamblers. What about tax evasion, you say? Let’s finish with the bigger tax evader that is the bureau of customs first, shall we?

      • Lilly says:

        @ Kuliglig

        So right on re: bureau of customs. They’re pretty much the most corrupt entity, from the rank-and-filers (ma’am, daan na lang po kayo sa likod para pagusapan natin ang tax ng parcel nyo)  to the head honcho (harharhar I’m fooling everyone even myself in cheating at golf).

        Sometimes I just wanna bomb their main office. Then their satellite posts in each and every post office, pero kawawa naman ang mga parcel na hinohostage nila madadamay.


    did they ever know maraming church goer na sugarol? meron dyan magsisimba para suwertehin meron dyan drug lord , maraming mga tao nag kukunwari na mabait o mukhang tupa pero ang laman ng puso ay marumi pa sa poso negro.they cannot discern o bulang din sila kasi malapit din sila sa kanila. ❗

  9. Hyden Toro says:

    Jueteng is the poor men’s hope to instant wealth. The cost of the bet is low. There is one in three million chances of anybody winning. Yet, the mostly poor, bet their last pesos or available money, for a chance to win. It’s like the OFWs who sell their carabaos, to finance a job venture abroad. Once they give their money to False Recruiters, or soulless scammers. Their world have gone upside down . I don’t know why the Church is on against gambling. They should be there doing charity works; preaching the gospel and cleaning their own Churches of child molester priests. Mr. Puno is just one of the fellow singing the wrong tune, for a long time. If you dig deeper; more vermins like him will come out. “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Corrupt pala ang nasa tabi mo! 😆

    • Jay says:

      well it beats the PCSO and you need a higher amount of capital to do something even in a PAGCOR area. Odd enough, it was legalized one time in the 80’s according to wiki which was called small time lottery.

      Jueteng exists due to the crummy system, where the poor resort to get-rich schemes that allows it to be as it is among the politicians. Much like the potential of narcopolitics in the Philippines is certainly no conspiracy theory, but those who engage in it keep the evidence hidden at all costs. More so than the prominent whistle blowers who already called on the obvious and are heralded as some good citizens.

  10. Kuliglig says:

    Oh why, oh why, my beloved Philippines, are you so fascinated with the word ‘allegation?.
    You consume it like a GRO trying to get drunk on cheap alcohol, only to get abused unconsciously from behind.
    You let these tabloid materials into your headline news and let it poison the minds of everyone you love. Slowly blurring their sense of what are facts and what are rumors. You have let it transform the honorable halls of congress into a hair salon full of emotional bickering, hags. You have contented yourself with public trials, instead of using the police enforcement. You made the word ‘Common sense’ into an oxymoron.

  11. No Idea says:

    @Hyden Toro, I am sure… and guess what, Amsterdam where pot (hey it can cure cancer) and prostitution are legal have one of the LOWEST crime rates (referring specifically to rape). People are not REPRESSED so they don’t molest women by force.. they pay for their services which is FAIR!

    • Hyden Toro says:

      Marijuana has been used for many centuries by people as medicine. It has a good medicinal effect on those suffering from terminal cancer or illness. It removes their pain. Coca leaves, which is the primary source ingredient of cocaine, are chewed by the natives of Bolivia and Paraguay, in South America. To give them strength in living and moving in high altitudes. Their countries are mountainous like Baguio. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LCD) , is still being studied, as a drug to expand the minds of people; if used in small amounts. Most of these banned drugs, encourages the brain to produce Dophamine chemicals. Which is the brain chemical that gives you pleasure. . Dophamine is released in your brain; if you make love to your wife or girlfriend, or partner; or whatever. I do not discriminate on sexual orientations. The mind is still an unexplored frontier, like the outer space and the universe as a whole. However, for me, I prefer Meditations. It has the same effects, than those drugs..

      • No Idea says:

        Actually I have a whole you tube thingy about POT. It’s the “indica” type that cures Cancer. In Canada one huy is giving it away after he had terminal Cancer and took cannabis.. So you are into “zen” too:) So now I know why you are “calm” .. and cool . Ever tried EFT (I did. It worked!)

      • Hyden Toro says:

        I pray everyday. I meditate everyday. Praying is talking to our Divine Source. Meditation is listening to him. Answers to questions come during meditations. Solutions to life’s problems come during meditations. It is Aligning yourself with the Divine Source; that is important. Not religions, or false piety. This is the reason I’m against Organized Religions. They misled humanity to more problems that made us bad, than good. Like: wars, murders, thievery, scams, prosecutions,imperialism,inquisitions,terrorism, fundamentalism, bigotry, etc… 😐

    • Jay says:

      @No ID

      Marijuana in Amsterdam, being the ability to smoke it legally goes through a hell amount of regulation. Of course control is the problem considering the problem they deal with are smuggling issues. And that is one of the issues that come in trying to legalize marijuana usage in other areas of the globe. Though if you consider how it was done with tobacco (also a chief import during industrial ages then) and alcohol (which at one point was illegal due to prohibition), its rather possible. It would require a hell of a growing market and other purposes besides what existed with what you can do with the plant. Also the government hellbent on policies to control the business, which that in itself varies in difficulty depending on the people as well.

  12. ricelander says:

    The Church is motivated by good intentions naman but the notion that you should shield people from evil is obsolete. Shielding people from evil creates another more monstrous in time. The Prohibition in the US, when alcohol and cigarette were the monsters, should give us lesson. Man should confront ‘evil’ and not to be shielded from it.

  13. Votoms says:

    Can u make another article “Why Catholic Church so against birthcontrol”?

  14. Antay-antayan says:

    Good that someone is asking this question, but writer needs to do a little more research really. Bakit pala English-ispokening mga tao sa site na ‘to?

  15. tiki says:

    No, because jueteng is run by criminal groups and is basically rigged. That’s it.

  16. The Lazzo says:

    I don’t think it’s really because they want a piece (of the jueteng pie, that is). They already have the sway of the masses, as the local Catholics’ endorsement of a candidate can make or break them.

    I think it’s more “deflection.” With the whole child molestation thing still biting at their heels, they want to be able to turn the public’s attention away from that to something else.

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