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.