Jueteng using lotto as cover

RESURGENCE CONFIRMED

CIDG task force nabs 36 collectors

LINGAYEN – The illegal numbers game called ‘jueteng’ has resurrected in Pangasinan, using lotto or even the Small Town Lottery (STL) as cover.

This was gleaned from various arrests conducted by the anti-gambling task force of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) which was tasked to validate the return of jueteng not only in Pangasinan but also in La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.

In Dagupan City, Mayor Benjamin Lim has issued a memorandum to Police Chief Edgar Basbas to maintain his vigilance against jueteng and any other form of gambling, especially hataw.

Dagupan is among the few places in Pangasinan where jueteng has not resurfaced.

On the 36 jueteng collectors arrested so far in San Jacinto, Urbiztondo, Urdaneta City, Bayambang, Sta. Barbara and Laoac, all were in possession of the “EZ-2” cards of the legal lotto.

At the same time, they, too, were found in possession of “papelitos” where the number bets were written, including the corresponding bets for each pair of numbers.

A report posted on the PNP-Pangasinan’s website, showed the five jueteng collectors arrested in San Jacinto were subsequently released by the CIDG upon being shown the “EZ-2” cards, to prove they were operating legitimately, although they were also in possession of ‘papelitos’.

While the minimum and regular bet in ‘EZ-2’ card is P10, the “papelitos” seized from the collectors listed bets from P5 to P20 and up.

The CIDG noted the same pattern was found among those arrested in Laoac.

The bet collectors carried “EZ-2” cards and “papelitos”.

The CIDG confirmed that it is collaborating with Krusada ng Bayan Laban sa Jueteng led by Archbishop Oscar Cruz.

CIDG Chief Senior Supt. Federico Castro said the jueteng is presently operated on a guerilla-type system, with operators simply picking the winning numbers instead of raffling them.

The CIDG has determined that the modus operandi of the jueteng operators is to instruct their collectors to present “EZ-2” cards whenever accosted by the police and avoid arrest.

Jueteng is now reportedly actively operating in eastern Pangasinan, exception in the town of Natividad.

Concerned citizens have told the PUNCH that the collection of bets for jueteng in eastern Pangasinan is blatant leading to suspicions that the town officials are already partaking of their usual “payolas.”

Meanwhile, Supt. Harris Fama, police information officer, warned that the one-strike policy of the police in the campaign against illegal gambling stays.

PNP moves to

stop jueteng anew

LINGAYEN–The resurgence of jueteng in the province was confirmed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police.

Supt. Federico Castro Jr., CIDG Ilocos regional officer, said five jueteng collectors were arrested in San Jacinto and have been charged in court for the violation of RA 1062.

Reacting to Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz’s lament about the return of jueteng in the regions, Castro told the local media “there will be no-let up in our campaign, no matter who gets hurt.”

Six others were invited for questioning in separate operations made in Urdaneta City and Urbiztondo but they were released without cases being filed.

The CIDG turned over the five suspects who were reportedly doubling as agents of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s EZ 2 Balls though the ‘bookies system”.

In barangay Talogtog, Laoac town where draws are being held, the police operations resulted in the arrest of 15 persons.

However, he admitted that it is more difficult now to operate against those involved in this illegal numbers” game because they have resorted to “leap frog operations or kangaroo style”. Winning numbers are pre-selected by the operators.

He has identified the operators as mostly kabos who have pooled their resources to finance their mobile operations. He added that there are no indications so far that the big-time financiers have already joined the fray.

Castro clarified that his unit is operating not only in Pangasinan but in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte where jueteng has reportedly made a comeback.

The modus operandi is collect bets for EZ2 but these are not entirely remitted to the PCSO outlets. In “loteng,” kabos use EZ2 as front to collect bets, writing numbers on the EZ2 card then transfer these secretly to their “papelitos”.

Still other kabos claim to represent Small Town Lottery (STL) operations. (There are only four provinces identified as pilot areas for STL and Pangasinan is not included).

Meanwhile, informed about the police operation against jueteng in Pangasinan, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz, chairman of Krusada Ng Bayan Laban sa Jueteng (Jueteng-Free Philippines Crusade), told The PUNCH that “EZ2 is cover up for either bookies or jueteng. I hope the Anti-Jueteng Task Force will be wise. Otherwise the bookies and jueteng operators would pull the rug from under their feet”.

He added,” I am impressed for the concern and the effort (of the police) but more than the concern and the effort, we want results”.

Castro admitted that the pressure to succeed in Pangasinan is so great because Cruz is based here and it is also the home province of PNP Chief Arturo Lomibao. — EVA

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