Persistent allure of the illegal-A A +A
Free and Easy
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
ENTICING, Addictive…Easy Money.
Well, I guess the three words, mentioned are prime factors for the resurgence of the illegal numbers game Jueteng.
Yes, believe it or not, the fight against poor man’s lottery seems to be at a losing end. This is true not only in the locality, but in nearby towns as well.
The task force ordered to chase illegal gambling out of the city seems to have stumbled time and again. The reason behind, well what else could it be if not for the continued operation of the illegal numbers game.
One only needs to have an observant eye and walk around the central business district to discover the incessant activity.
It has been observed that bet collectors or kubradores have favorite “bet collection areas” in the city market. These locations include: the city market, jeepney terminals, Lakandula, Trancoville, and other populated barangays.
Sketchy reports also indicate another strategy allegedly being used by “jueteng operators.” Reportedly, the illegal numbers game recruit candy and cigarette vendors to earn more bucks by simply collecting bets where their sidewalk stalls are located.
Aside from Baguio, there have been reports of the continued operation of poor man’s lottery at La Trinidad. No less than some residents expressed dismay after observing kubradores collect bets at sari-sari stores, along the way, or at any “feasible spot.”
Even the town of Itogon has not been spared by illegal gambling operators. Recent reports claim the resurgence of “jueteng” in the town. The supposed resurgence is rather “glaring” since resident have even seen kubradores waiting for their “service van” after they have done their rounds in the various puroks or barangays of the locality.
Alarmed over the reported resurgence, officials of Itogon have set a multi-sectoral meeting this week to discuss and find solutions against the concern.
Yes, the illegal numbers game-jueteng is once again “back from the grave” (that’s if it was ever buried there in the first place). It does seem this persistent and stubborn allure continues to provide false hope, as well as corruption to many.
The persistent resurgence of this illicit activity forces us to endlessly ask the question: “Why the hell can’t it be stopped?”
Well perhaps the answers lie on the basics. First is the enticing nature of the “game.”
For a poor man, the chance of gaining a big amount in exchange for a minimal bet is definitely an inviting proposition. Sad to say however, some “patrons” of the game go as far as betting money intended for marketing or other needs of the family.
For so-called protectors, the “game” is naturally enticing. Imagine, authorities who intentionally play “deaf and blind” to the illegal operation of jueteng are reportedly rewarded with more than just reasonable amounts of cash on a regular basis. Man, if this ain’t corruption, then I don’t what it is.
Similar to drug which develops dependence, illegal gambling is definitely addictive. From a simple “I’ll just try it out for as sample,” …all the way to… “where the hell is that bet collector? I dreamt of good numbers last night.” The “game” has its own unique way of “hooking” its patrons.
From a similar angle, “protectors” are perceived to “greedily” await monthly, weekly, or semi-monthly pay-offs from jueteng operators. Such “greed” for the monthly or regular “payola,” may logically be translated to a different form of addiction… addiction for illicitly acquired cash. Damn!!! These “protectors” should be “weeded out,” embarrassed, tried publicly, and of course…penalized to the fullest.
The promise of easy money is obviously a “given” factor of the equation. This factor of the equation benefits the “corrupt” or the “protectors” of the “game” rather its “betting patrons.” If the provision and acceptance of “jueteng-payolas” for “certain entities in power and / or office” still exists, then the allure of “easy … very easy money” remains as a constant temptation as well as an effective instrument of corruption.
Once someone said: “Better chose the lesser of two evils when left with no choice.” Taking the excerpt into account, perhaps moves to legalize the so-called “poor man’s or small town lottery” should be given a more serious thought when the time arises. Chances are, legalizing the “game” would translate to “zero payola” and no more “protection money” for the “greedy” and the “corrupt.”
In addition, I join others who long for the time when all “undesirables in office” who gain from the illicit operation would be “weeded out” and “openly exposed” to the scrutiny of the public.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 29, 2011.