Friday, September 17, 2010

Hello, Jueteng

The recent appointment of PNP Dir. General Raul Bacalzo as PNP Chief replacing Jesus Versoza, has been met with criticism from some junior officers of the National Police. Many claim that the new PNP Chief is involved in Jueteng and receives, along with some Malacanang official/s, payola in exchange for protection from jueteng. Mind you, these are all allegations, but persistent ones, nonetheless.

Then comes Usec. Puno of the DILG claiming he was offered by Jueteng Lords P2 million a month (an amount Penoy said was "cheap", as if he knows very well the going rate for jueteng payolas. hmmmm). Puno claims he declined the offer, but refuses to identify these people who offered him money. He claims no law was broken, although i doubt if attempting to bribe a government official isn't a crime in itself. These two officials of the Penoy administration both have a lot to explain since the rumors, stories and whispers involving them in jueteng are growing loudereach day.

Could it be that these two are not in position by accident? Could it be that Bacalzo and Puno were put there through the insistence of the powerful bulong brigade? And if the powerful bulong birgade pushed Penoy to appoint Bacalzo and Puno to the 2 top posts that are responsible for eradicating jueteng, then it logically follows that some members of the bulong brigade might have vested interests in jueteng and would want the police and the DILG to be "in good hands".

Then comes the question everyone wants to ask: Could Penoy have received payola during his legislative term of office, and could he have received campaign contributions from Jueteng Lords? Is this the reason he was hesitant to say who his contributors were? Is this the real reason why Penoy is trying his best to ease out Sec. Robredo (a staunch anti-jueteng advocate) without making it look like a political maneuver?

Let's face it. Penoy's announcement that jueteng is not in his list of priorities, plus the fact that he refuses to investigate allegations by retired Bishop Cruz that his top ranking officials are involved in jueteng or are receiving jueteng payolas, raises many eyebrows.

No matter which way you look at it, the situation is highly suspect, and the president has a lot to explain with regards to his seeming refusal to investigate his own men. With his actions, many cannot be faulted into thinking that the jueteng payola has reached the top of the political heap.

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