Whistle-blower Sandra Cam said that a junior officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has a prepared a list of gambling lords and their protectors. The list shows 12 personalities including two governors, two retired police chief superintendents and a retired senior superintendent. It also includes the names of the “Three Kings,” a group of security officials who have taken over the collection of “grease money” from jueteng lords under the administration of president Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino. The list shows that each “king” receives between P5 million and P8 million monthly payola or “protection money.” That’s a lot of moolah!
Now, here is the stinger: The “Three Kings” are allegedly composed of an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) closely identified with P-Noy, another retired chief superintendent, and a ranking police official still in active service.
During the 2005 jueteng payola scandal, ex-prez Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had her “Lion King.” In this new jueteng scandal, P-Noy has his “Panda Boy.” But it’s still the same old money-making system, just different players and the rules of the game have changed cuz now there is more moolah coming in and more people who have their hands in the cookie jar. Yup, four governors are now moonlighting as jueteng lords… or is it jueteng lords moonlighting as governors? And as the “Queen Bee” of La Cuarta Nostra would say, “Cuarta na! Cuarta na!”
News of the Week… “According to ABS-CBN sources, a church official and a high-ranking government official, the 2 administration officials are Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Rico Puno and just retired Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Jesus Verzosa. The ABS-CBN sources claimed Puno and Verzosa receive as much as P5 million a month in jueteng payoffs, and the money is given in tranches — every 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of the month.”
If that’s true, it would be like the U.S. President appointing the “Godfather,” Don Vito Corleone, to stop the numbers game of the La Cosa Nostra. Capisce?
Dyok of the Week…
News report says: “The new Philippine National Police chief, Director General Raul Bacalzo, on Friday said he would enforce a ‘one-strike policy’ in the police force to show that the PNP is serious about eradicating the illegal numbers game, or ‘jueteng.’ The one-strike policy means any police officer or official found guilty of collaborating with jueteng syndicate operators in his place of assignment will be dismissed from his post. Bacalzo said he would deploy police operatives as secret ‘tracker teams’ in areas where the illegal numbers game proliferates.”
Bacalzo has got to be kidding. What’s the likelihood of the “trackers” being greased to shut up? It has always been all about money. Yup, money talks and BS walks.
Some past presidents have gained reputation for trying to learn the art of “double speak.” Erap Estrada tried to master it. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo tried to fine-tune it. And now P-Noy is learning it without really trying. It just comes out… naturally.
When he appointed Jesse Robredo to the top DILG post, he gave him “marching orders” to stop jueteng. The following day, P-Noy changed his mind and said, “fighting jueteng is no longer his priority.”
The other day, P-Noy’s new deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that P-Noy “has been loyal to his word to stamp out the illegal number games although it is not his ‘top priority.’ ” Hmmm… Then she twisted it a little: “I don’t recall the President saying that jueteng is not a priority. I recall him saying that apart from jueteng, there are other priorities.” What? And then she tried to untwist what she twisted, “Just because the President said that it is not top priority does not mean that it’s not a priority.” Huh? Now, that’s not only doublespeak, that’s triplespeak! I’ll make a bet that Abigail would soon be looking for another job. P-Noy just can’t allow his staff to make a fool of him.
Prayer vigil… News report says: “The series of 40-hour prayer vigils held by religious groups last week to guide President Benigno Aquino III through his first 100 days in office is not a good sign,” Bishop Cruz said. “It’s not good because when people start praying for you it means something is wrong. But if you’re doing very well then they won’t pray for you.” Hmm…
If I were P-Noy, I’d be offended. Perhaps, P-Noy should issue an executive order prohibiting prayer vigils for him. Instead he might want to ask the people to pray for DILG Undersecretary Rico E. Puno and PNP Chief Raul Bacalzo so they would be able to walk the “straight path.” Yup, straight to the bank.
My advice to P-Noy is: “Putulin mo ang masamang puno at mawawala ang sakit ng ulo mo” (Cut the bad tree and your headache will go away).
Some of my readers asked why I have been critical of P-Noy. Let me set the record straight: I believe P-Noy is honest and incorruptible. I was one of the first columnists who supported him when he announced his presidential bid (“The ‘Virgin’ Candidate,” PerryScope, September 14, 2009). I feel, however, that it seems corruption is creeping back… or perhaps it never left. During his inauguration, P-Noy asked his 90 million “bosses” — and I’m one of them — to help him fight corruption. I’m now doing my part with the use of my pen. I hope P-Noy reads this column and my other column, PerryScope.
As I said before, corruption is like a weed: If you don’t kill it, it will grow and spread rapidly until the entire landscape is full of weed.
Mr. President, it’s your call.