"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

The Jueteng Hoax on the Filipino People

True - jueteng is a source of corruption.

But not just in the way that it is commonly understood.

Of course there is this payola or intelligencia as it is supposedly called consisting of bribes to the authorities.

But is jueteng a moral issue?

I submit that it is not. If absolute morality is invoked then the conclusion should be that all gambling is bad. If it were so therefore we should close Pagcor and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes. otherwise we would all burn in hell for abetting it. Is it only the rich that should be allowed to gamble and the poor should not? Every individual should have the equal opportunity to go to their own heaven or hell without any pre-emptive interference from public policies that smacks of almost being like a bill of attainder.

Jueteng shorn of the platitudes thrown all over the place in the polemics involved is really an artificial law enforcement .issue.

Artificial because by existing law 'jueteng' or jueteng like activities is defined to be illegal.
if there were no law against such activities then there would be no illegal action and no criminal elements will be involved.

By allowing jueteng or legalizing it - it becomes a question of regulation -- with the goal of protecting the betting public from cheating operations by unscrupulous operators.

It also becomes a revenue issue to make sure that the proper taxes are paid by the operators.
In the present state of affairs, the criminal elements and bribe recipients are really strange bedfellows with the hypocritical moralists in our society that would seek to keep on maintaining the illegality of jueteng. They work in seemingly contradictory purposes but their separate actions result in the perpetration of the jueteng hoax on the Filipino people. Their combined actions in effect preserves the domination of criminal elements of the jueteng trade and continues the corrupting influence of the payola and intelligencia on our public officials.

The lessons of Prohibition Period in the US should have been instructive. The puritan teetotalers who succeeded in inflicting Prohibition on the American people produced an era of criminality lorded over by the likes of Al Capone with the exemplary notoriety of the Valentine Day massacre. Why was that so -- because a significant portion of Americans love to drink and will not hesitate to patronize 'speak easy's' even if this were patently operating illegally. So is it with jueteng and its variants. Filipinos being a playful race love the game. and love to juego.

Telling Filipinos not to patronize jueteng will just fall on deaf ears. Keeping it illegal gives the criminal operators the perfect alibi to ramain hidden in the woodwork and keep to their cheating ways. By making the whole thing legal and forcing existing juteng operators to come out in the light of day the cheats will be exposed and the betting public (na hindi naman nagpapa-awat) will at least be protected. Of course as a legal operation, the necessity for the payola and intelligentsia disappears and these corrupting influence is stopped on its tracks. There are many among our officials charged with the eradication of jueteng who mouth the usual invectives against jueteng but who live a Jekyll and Hide existence and receive these payolas without missing a beat. This artificial zarzuela should be stopped.

Let the rule of law prevail. By enforcing halfhearted and unwinnable drives against jueteng the 'untouchable' operators are effectively operating outside of the laws practical enforceable ambit. Let these jueteng operators come in from the Cold. Regulate them and Tax them and please.... please... stop this foolish Hoax on the Filipino People.


Gil R. Ramos Ph.d. finished his Doctorate in Monetary Economics and Masters in Population Economics at the University of Hawaii. He did his AB Economics and also a Masters in Urban Regional Planning both at the University of the Philippines. He currently teaches MBA students at the (New Jersey City University) NJCU in Managerial Economics, Corporate Financial Management, and Managerial Information Systems. He runs his own consulting firm GRR Analytics based in the New York / New Jersey area.

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