MANILA, Philippines - It seems there is no stopping the proliferation of the illegal numbers racket, jueteng, in Batangas.
Superintendent Arcadio Ronquillo, public information officer of the Batangas police office, said jueteng flourishes in the province despite efforts to curb the numbers rackets.
The admission was confirmed with the arrests of at least 19 jueteng bet collectors in Laurel, Lipa, Santo Tomas, Tuy and Tanauan since last week.
Retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz earlier identified Batangas as one of several provinces where jueteng remains rampant.
Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto, however, denied the report and insisted that her administration is against any form of gambling including jueteng.
“I am not encouraging any form of gambling including jueteng at alam yan ng mga mayors. May directive ako tungkol dyan sa lahat ng mayors. We are not part of it,” she explained.
Laguna Gov. George “ER” Ejercito, meanwhile, said jueteng should be legalized since local authorities are powerless to stop it.
Quezon Gov. David “JJ” Suarez also urged the archbishop to name government officials who are receiving payola from gambling lords.
The Batangas Enhance Technology System (BETS), a Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office franchise holder to operate a Small Town Lottery (STL), in Batangas has welcomed the crackdown on the illegal numbers operation in the province.
Atty. Adorlito Ginete, BETS community relations officer, said their collections are greatly affected by the proliferation of illegal STL bookies, “loteng” and jueteng through guerrilla operations.
“Almost 50% of our collection were diminished because of the illegal operation of jueteng,” he said.
He denied reports that they were shortchanging the government in paying their taxes.