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Anti-gambling bishop fears for his life after jueteng expose


Outspoken Archbishop Oscar Cruz admitted fears for his life after he identified in a Senate hearing the country’s alleged jueteng operators and protectors.

Cruz said those involved in the illegal numbers game are influential people, adding that he is afraid of possible revenge.

“Of course I’m afraid. There are shameless people so how can you stop worrying,” said the founder of the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng.

Cruz identified Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno and retired Philippine National Police chief Jesus Verzosa as the two Aquino administration officials coddling jueteng operators by receiving monthly payola.

The anti-gambling crusader also revealed 10 more names during the investigation on the multi-million illegal lottery as jueteng lords, operators and beneficiaries of jueteng payola.

The 12 are: 1. Governor Baby Pineda in Pampanga; 2. Paul Dy in Isabela; 3. Retired general Eugene Martin; 4. Mayor Mauricio Domogan of Baguio; 5. Danny Soriano in Cagayan; 6. Retired General Padilla in Pasay, Parañaque, Muntinlupa and San Pedro; 7. Governor Amado Espino in Pangasinan; 8. Boy Jalandoni in Bacolod; 9. Eddie Fontanilla; and 10. Rey Cachuela.

The first eight names were named as jueteng lords and operators in their respective areas. Fontanilla, meanwhile, was identified as a collector on the ground while Cachuela was tagged as intermediate recipient.

The retired archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan said his group had already suffered big blows in giving information to the government so it could stop jueteng “which corrupts public officials.”

He said one of them has already been killed, referring to jueteng whistle-blower Wilfredo “Boy” Mayor, who was gunned down in Pasay City in February.

Last week, the prelate said he received a mail sent to his office at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in Intramuros, Manila. The bond paper has his face printed on it and with a note: “Shut up!”

To those people with the same conviction and advocacy as the bishop, it is time to join forces and fight with him against gambling in our country. Never to the legalization of "jueteng". The nation can win this fight if we put our individual strengths together.

Lord, let an avalanche of will and determination begin. Grant us the strength to stand against this Goliath for your name's sake. As you have shown your glory through David, be it so likewise as we stand to face this yet another of the many stubborn monsters in our land.