Press Release
March 21, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today expressed dismay over the Arroyo governments decision to revive the small town lottery (STL) supposedly as a strategy to eliminate jueteng and to give alternative jobs to workers who are dislocated by the anti-jueteng drive.

Pimentel said there would have been no need for the government to launch the STL if only Malacañang and law enforcement authorities had faithfully enforced the laws against jueteng and other forms of illegal gambling.

It is unfortunate that in order to eradicate underground jueteng, the strategy chosen by the government is to introduce another numbers game. It is a ridiculous and erroneous strategy, to say the least, he said.

He said the strategy of putting up STL to compete with jueteng is reprehensible as it promotes a culture of gambling as a means of earning money, instead of emphasizing the virtues of hard work and diligence among the people.

Pimentel said jueteng can be wiped out only by prosecuting and jailing jueteng lords and financiers.

As long as these gambling lords remain untouchable, jueteng will continue to operate and the governments plan to replace it with STL will not succeed, he said.

Pimentel recalled that the STL turned into a flop during the Aquino administration because its operation was sabotaged by the jueteng lords and their protectors in government.

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