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Philippine President Rejects Jueteng Legalization

6 May 2005

PHILIPPINES – As reported by the Manila Bulletin: "Breaking her silence over criticisms about the resurgence of illegal gambling in the country, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday rejected renewed calls for the legalization of jueteng, an illegal numbers game, saying it would only encourage laziness among Filipinos.

"The President instead ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) and local governments 'to do (their) work' in curbing jueteng operations in their areas.

"…It was the first time the President issued remarks about illegal gambling since Cruz revealed jueteng operations have continued unabated even four years after former President Joseph Estrada was impeached for allegedly pocketing jueteng kickbacks and was subsequently driven out from power.

"Mrs. Arroyo, however, was silent on allegations that her husband, First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, her son, Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel, and her brother-in-law, Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo, are the biggest beneficiaries of jueteng, considered a P13-billion industry a year…"

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