IT WAS just a verbal order over the weekend, and the police moved into action and they were relentless. More than 30,000 lotto outlets were closed. I can imagine if I were a franchise holder and invested my lifetime savings and without due process, I lost everything. Just like that.
Let's give it to President Rodrigo Duterte that his swift action was due to "massive corruption" in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). We don't even have to argue if it is legal or not. Maybe what we can raise is the shutting down, if it is moral or not.
Throwing out hundreds of thousands of people out of jobs cannot be justified. Making people hungry and their kids having no fare money to go to schools is so cruel. How many do you think are the kubradors collecting lotto bets in the country? It is their livelihood. Their source of income.
Give them something in the meanwhile you are cleansing a corrupt agency. In the first place it is you, Mr. President, who appointed them there. Was there any vetting process before you signed their appointment papers?
In our physics subject in high school, we learned that an action taken will have a corresponding reaction. The reaction of course is anger. Let's talk straight. Jueteng will go underground. There will be raids by the police. There will be poor kubradors who will be arrested and charged in court. That happened in the past.
It will happen again. But I tell you, no administration in the past was able to stop totally underground jueteng. Temporarily, yes. I remember the story told to me some time ago by an old friend, Tatang Eloy Bangsil. He is by the way in his mid-90s now. He is from Magalang and was involved in the gambling business when he was young.
I remember his words: "Balo mo Max, anggyang i MacArthur ena apatuknang ing jueteng. Panahon gobyernong Hapon pamaten dala deng mararakap, e tinuknang." (You know what Max, not even MacArthur can stop Jueteng. During the Japanese occupation, those caught gambling were lined up and killed. But jueteng never stopped).
When President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office three years ago, the rank-and- file of the Philippine National Police (PNP) already unsheathed their word, so to speak, and jumped into action in its war against illegal drugs.
Thousands were killed in police operations. "Nanlaban daw." Like yesterday, again, today. There will be police action. The newspapers reported that Philippine National Police Chief Oscar Albayalde sent his marching orders and mobilized all police forces to take punitive actions and go after illegal gambling.
I hope Albayalde is better than MacArthur.
TIDBITS: Prime Water, a Villar-owned company, has been buying off water districts. The water districts in San Fernando, Guagua and Mabalacat were earning money and highly profitable when they allowed Prime Water to take over... I suggest that the vice mayors and councilors of each local government initiate investigations and what good reasons the management of these water districts have. The local officials should protect the interests of their constituents who are all customers of the water districts... Landbanking is the name of the game. Many investors are gobbling up many areas in Capas near the New Clark City. Some officials of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority are making sidelines by being real estate brokers.