BAUKO, Mountain Province – Alarmed residents and barangay officials strongly denounced the resurgence of jueteng operations in the municipality that could worsen illegal gambling activities and give a bad image of the locality.
Sources, who requested anonymity for political and security reasons, disclosed that the results of the Small Town Lottery (STL) draws in nearby areas are the ones being used by enterprising gambling operators as the results of illegal jueteng draws in the municipality.
Further, the source narrated that rampant jueteng bet collections are being done in the different barangays for the 3 jueteng draws that are purportedly done using the results of STL draws from nearby provinces that tend to cast doubts on the results of the draws.
The source challenged the local officials, police authorities and the religious sector in the municipality to come out with a stand against the sudden resurgence of jueteng that did not happen for a number of decades.
According to him, barangay officials brought the matter to the attention of municipal officials after being surprised on the presence of jueteng bet collectors in their respective areas of jurisdiction but no concrete action has been taken by the concerned authorities to stop the illegal gambling in the locality casting doubts on the ability of the municipal government to protect the morals of the people from being ruined by illegal gambling.
The source expressed hope that with the complaint against the proliferation of jueteng being brought to the attention of other concerned authorities, they will be awakened to make drastic actions that will put a stop on the jueteng operations to help preserve and protect the law and order in the municipality.
The source argued that once the jueteng operations will be established, there will surely be a significant increase in crimes against persons and properties in the municipality that will affect the image of Bauko as one of the most peaceful and orderly municipalities in the entire Northern Luzon area and will sow fear among the residents.
Jueteng is a famous illegal numbers game that had existed in most parts of Luzon over the past several decades that is now hiding under the guise of the Easy 2 or the 2-digit game being drawn in public by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
While it is very difficult to ascertain where the collections being done in the town’s barangays are for PCSO’s Easy 2 or STL or for ‘bukis’ purposes, the source asserted that local officials and police authorities aggressive curb any form of illegal gambling in the municipality because there are no legalized gambling operations that have been allowed in the locality.
The source is wondering who among those in power who gave the go-signal for the collection of jueteng bets in the different barangays even without the conformity of barangay officials who are at the forefront in the campaign against illegal gambling.
Bauko is the biggest municipality in Mountain province having the largest land area and the highest population among the province’s 10 municipalities located near Bugias, Benguet, one of the known jueteng strongholds in Benguet. By Hent