STL also known as Small Town Lotteries was shut down some weeks ago, but news coming from a government official states that something surprising has happened.
An order came from President Rodrigo Duterte to close all forms of operations in Philippine’s Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). Next, he had a change of heart and ordered that they be allowed to open but that STL should still be shutdown. Since then, no instances of illegal “Jueteng” gambling has been reported.
A local news outlet called the Philippine inquirer quoted the Interior Secretary Eduardo Año as saying that the new tactic of closing down legal gambling avenues has also put a stop to the illegal ones.
He said in an interview
“For the first time, after the President declared ‘no STL’ and ‘no jueteng,’ nobody attempted to open jueteng operations until now,”
Although he declared this step to be a massive success, he however admitted that they’d monitor all activities to make sure Jueteng games do not rear its ugly head again.
Recently, Duterte explained the reason he decided to keep STL services closed while he allowed PCSO to continue with other lotteries.
“STL, Peryahan ng Bayan. Son of a bitch, it’s all stealing … So I had to stop it,” The president of Phillippines Mr. Duterte said.
“I thought I could (stop corruption), but you know corruption has permeated government itself. I said it’s corrupt to the core and it is right now,” he added.
This massive corruption made Senator Panfilo Lacson call for STLs to be banned permanently. He is of the opinion that allowing them to reopen their services would lead to the rise of illegal gambling.
“Jueteng is like any other crime, [such as] murder, homicide or robbery. You can minimize it, but you cannot stop it as long as police officers in the field are getting a share of the payola,” he said.
It is extremely unfortunate that a country that has difficulty in counting the exact number of people especially foreigners employed by licensed online operators has challenges in implementing its own laws at the appropriate time. It’s also worthy to note that they fixed the issue of illegal gambling in the space of one month.
This suggests a number of things. It is either Año is trying to look good while trying to please a tough master, or he believes his own statement. If the latter is true, then the people who play jueteng have gone found better ways of covering their tracks, which makes it more dangerous than it was before.