MANILA The Philippine National Police (PNP) will continue to fulfill its responsibility to eradicate all forms of illegal numbers game in the country.
The PNP will continue to enforce the law against illegal numbers games, particularly 'jueteng', 'masiao', and 'Last 2' as provided under the law, PNP spokesperson, Col. Bernard Banac, said in a statement Thursday.
Banac was referring to Presidential Decree 1602, as amended by Republic Act 9287.
We have observed in the past decades that when the PNP went all out against 'jueteng' during its peak, street-level 'jueteng' activities evolved into illegal drugs trade because some displaced 'jueteng' workers had no other alternative source of livelihood, aside from the fact that drug trafficking is more profitable than 'jueteng', he said.
Banac noted that the police cannot afford to be remiss in its duty to enforce the law against both illegal gambling and illegal drugs.
He, however, said that the PNP leadership understands why President Rodrigo Duterte wants the police to focus more on illegal drugs.
We submit to the wisdom of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his expression of preference to 'jueteng' than to drug trafficking as a means of livelihood by some people among the poorest sectors of society, he said.
At the same time, the PNP will continue to support the regulated numbers game operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office through the Small Town Lottery as a legalized alternative to 'jueteng', Banac added.
On Tuesday, Duterte said he would let jueteng operations continue for now, tagging it as lesser evil compared to illegal drugs.
Illegal gambling, particularly jueteng has been a perennial headache of the police due to rampant corruption that comes with their operation.
Several politicians and policemen have been accused in the past of receiving money from jueteng operators, either on a weekly or monthly basis. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency