Thursday, June 02, 2005

Politics: Anak ng Jueteng (Son of Jueteng)

READER BEWARE/READER ADVISORY/CAVEAT LECTOR: This post is a commentary on a specific political event affecting Philippines society. The writer while trying to be balanced in his assessment or read of situation is also aware that whatever he does the post will always include his point of views on the matter. As such this not simply a record of events. Thanks! To the uninitiated jueteng is a form number games in the Philippines and it seems even older than the Philippine Republic. The issue of jueteng has been a thorn on the side of every leader of this country. It has brought down Joseph Estrada and his presidency. Today it is surfacing again as an issue in Philippine politics. Thanks to the protestation and revelation of Bishop Cruz,the erthswhile enemy of legal and illegal gambling, it has now come to this, a senate inquiry. Unfortunately, the proceedings at the legislative chambers of the Philippine Senate and the Congress, when I try to glance at it, seems to be a waste of time. So far the first witness the good bishop has presented has named several well-known figures as receiving protection money. Unfortunately, he also confessed that most of his information is based on hearsay. In other words he was told by another person that the people he pointed were jueteng protectors. I do hope the good bishop presents more substantial evidence. If all his information were or are based on hearsay this investigation is a waste of time and the taxpayers' money. If you accuse someone it would be better to take them to court. Gather witnesses and more important evidence to support your allegations. You just do not call or allege someone that they are coddlers without proof. I sincerely hope that he has the evidence to pin the guilty parties. The mantle of religion on a man is not a sign of infalliability or incorruptability. Underneath the titles and symbols of religion is a man no different from any of us partial to mistakes and pride. I just hope he did not make a mistake. So far no concrete evidence has been presented proving that the personalities alluded to were truly guilty. If he is unable to prove his accusations then Bishop Cruz will be proven to be his own worst enemy. He will be seen as a modern day version of Joseph McCarthy and all his efforts will discredit his movement. Unfortunately, he will also prove that he was a useful fool that can and has been used by enemies of this government to discredit this government. I do hope he proves his case. I really do or else his cause will suffer. Another loser here if this hearing turns out to be a wild goose chase would be the Philippine Senate. At present its investigations are already seen as circuses used to attract attention by posturing politicians, unfortunately or fortunately who are usually the political Tritons of minnows. A failed investigation will be just another nail in the coffin of the Senate. Why did the bishop agree to participate in an investigation by a legislative body and not submit the evidence,if any, to the courts. If evidence is really strong maybe perhaps he should just filed a case in the courts. As it is the whole excercise seems to be an utter waste of the taxpayers' time and money.


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