Philippine Archbishop Opposes Illegal Lottery

MANILA, PHILLIPINES, NOV. 14, 2002 ( Archbishop Oscar Cruz is convinced that local government officals in his province of Panfasinan are threatening him because he is fighting an illegal lottery.

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Jueteng, an illegal lottery, exploits the poor in the province, the Misna missionary agency reports.

«Fighting jueteng, the jueteng lords and their protectors, plus their payoff recipients, are all up in arms. Their target: everybody and everything that gets in their evil way,» Archbishop Cruz said. «When evil is fought, it fights back. This is the lesson learned by all those who fight what is immoral and corrupt, what is detestable.»

Archbishop Cruz formed the «Crusade Against Jueteng» in his archdiocese and has been monitoring and exposing the illegal game.

«Jueteng is organized crime practiced by organized criminals, fostering organized corruption, especially in public office,» Archbishop Cruz continued.

It is a known fact that jueteng is protected by police and government officials, who receive huge amounts of money from gambling lords. Former President Joseph Estrada was toppled from office two years ago over his alleged involvement in the game.

«Jueteng is not invincible,» Archbishop Cruz emphasized. If more people would come together and work against it, this illegal game could be stopped and «vanish from our land,» he concluded.

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