The Philippine National Police (PNP) has reiterated its commitment to curb all illegal gambling activities and illegal number games which are on the rise in the country.
“The PNP will continue to enforce the law against illegal numbers games, particularly ‘jueteng’, ‘masiao’, and ‘Last 2’ as provided under the law,” PNP spokesperson, Col. Bernard Banac, said in a statement tto the press on Thursday.
“We have observed in the past decades that when the PNP went all out against ‘jueteng’ during its peak, street-level ‘jueteng’ activities evolved into illegal drugs trade because some displaced ‘jueteng’ workers had no other alternative source of livelihood, aside from the fact that drug trafficking is more profitable than ‘jueteng’,” he added.
Illegal gambling activities have been increasing in the country and the operators often put consumers at risk and also drain the tax revenue.
While President Duterte, wants to focus more on dealing with illegal drugs, the PNP is also seeing gambling as a growing menace.
“We submit to the wisdom of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his expression of preference to ‘jueteng’ than to drug trafficking as a means of livelihood by some people among the poorest sectors of society,” Banac commented.
“At the same time, the PNP will continue to support the regulated numbers game operations of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office through the Small Town Lottery as a legalized alternative to ‘jueteng’,” he added.
On Tuesday, Duterte said he would let “jueteng” operations continue for now, referring to it as “lesser evil” compared to illegal drugs.