>> Tuesday, May 31, 2011
BAGUIO CITY – Jueteng is still up and about in northern Luzon with seven bet collectors nabbed in Baguio last week even as the menace is becoming deadlier with a radio station in Tabuk City in Kalinga lobbed with bombs by suspected jueteng operators.
Police have yet to identify men who lobbed four molotov bombs inside the government-run radio station dzRK-Radyo ng Bayan in Tabuk early morning Tuesday, which a radio announcer said was the handiwork of jueteng operators.
The suspects, who fled on board a green Mitsubishi Delica van, broke the jalousie of a room and lobbed the molotovs, according to broadcaster Jerome Tabangay.
Tabangay linked the recent attack on the radio station’s relentless commentaries on the resurgence of jueteng in the city since May 22.
Tabangay survived an assassination attempt four days after the May 2010 polls after gunmen barged into the radio station and fired at him.
Although he linked last year’s attack to dirty politics, he said jueteng operators were behind the attempt on his life.
A police report said on May 24 at around 1:55 a.m., the DZRK building here at Purok 2, Bulanao Norte was nearly razed by fire but was prevented due to quick reaction of the security guard.
Police investigation disclosed unidentified suspects poured gasoline at the back wall and window of the establishment and dropped two plastic containers of gasoline inside the building through the jalousie window.
Perpetrators reportedly, from a distance ignited the containers with a wooden stick with cloth tied at the tip.
Personnel of local police, Bureau of Fire Protection and a team from the Provincial Crime Laboratory Office immediately responded at the crime scene and conducted an investigation.
They recovered a plastic container of cooking oil, a plastic container of 1.5 Coke filled with gasoline, one wooden stick with cloth tied on the tip and two melted plastic containers of soft drinks.
Police said around 1 a.m. of same day, Paulo M. Dayag, security guard on duty was inside the establishment when he heard unusual sound.
He immediately inspected the establishment and found out that one of the rooms of the establishment was on fire.
He awakened and sought the assistance of Willy Anastacio, radio technician, and put out the fire but the back wall of the establishment was slightly damaged.
Meanwhile, in La Trinidad Benguet, kubradors (bet collectors) admitted jueteng draws were still being done in the capital town although bets were solicited in Itogon and Tuba towns, also in the province, including Baguio City.
In the summer capital on May 24, police arrested jueteng personnel inside the “Bulalohan ni Kapitan Eatery, Apollo Building at Hilltop, Upper Kayang.
A Baguio police report identified the suspects as Emeterio U Amat, 52, of San Isidro, Sta Ana, Pampanga; Roberto G. Angusto, 43, of Iba, Zambales; Renato de Jesus Benedicto, 4,2 of Guagua, Pampanga; Max A. Elgincolin, 36 of Inhobol, Masinloc, Zambales; Luis D. Villanueva, 41m of San Vicente, Apalit, Pampanga; Elmer S. Lumanlan, 26, of Capaz, Tarlac and Cezar G. Vino, 54 of Dolores, Looban City, San Fernando, Pampanga.
Seized from the suspects were jueteng paraphernalia and a total of P708 cash bets.
The suspects were detained at Baguio City jail upon order of Prosecutor Ruth Bernabe.
The suspects claimed their operation was legal and they had documents to prove it but police said such claim should be presented in court and it is up to the court to decide their fate.
The police report said intensified anti- illegal gambling operations were being conducted by Baguio police under the supervision of city police director Senior Supt. David Lacdan.
To date, jueteng operations are also reportedly still rampant in Buguias and Mankayan, Benguet, Kalinga and Abra.
Police earlier arrested Edgar B. Balaoro, 33 in the capital town of Bangued, Abra for soliciting jueteng bets on May 17 at KKL Store located along the public market.
Confiscated from Balaoro was P611.00 in different denominations and jueteng paraphernalia.
NPT sources said the illegal numbers game in still flourishing in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon regions.
Department of Interior and Local Government officials in the regions were reportedly still silent on jueteng even as an uncle of President Aquino was linked to the illegal numbers game
Meanwhile, sources said police are reportedly just following orders from “higher ups” to go slow on the menace, thus the prevalence of the game which religious sectors said was draining society morally and financially.