Better late than never. As soon as President Aquino assumed office in 2010, the issue of jueteng came up. The PCSO accepted the fact that the Small Town Lottery was a convenient cover for jueteng. It was also reported that STL proceeds have gone down by as much as 90%.

So it was announced that STL had to go. PCSO announced the substitution of new numbers game called Loterya ng Bayan.

Months passed, 2 years passed. Nothing happened. Naturally the protection money said to be in the millions continued for 2 years. PNP officials, provincial and municipal mayors including some Congressmen got their monthly payoff.

It had to take the death of DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo issue to resurrect that issue. It was reported that Robredo had documents investigating Usec. Rico Puno for involvement in jueteng.

It is good that after 2 years, President Aquino decided to abolish the STL. It was of public knowledge that well known jueteng lords were operators of STL franchisees. It was no secret, for example, that Arman Sanchez operated the Batangas STL.

The same slow action has characterized the issue of continued smuggling and rampant corruption in the Bureau of Customs and the escort service in the Bureau of Immigration.

It is easy to detect jueteng operations. Their place of “bola” is known to the community with dozens of witnesses. The cabos or collectors are well known going around the public markets and in the barangays.

All the PNP had to do is send monitors to spot check STL bet collectors to record their daily take.

The jueteng lords live in luxury and big mansions. Why have they not been audited and taxed by the BIR?

The jueteng operators also maintain private armies to collect their proceeds. The PNP should know the vehicles they used. It’s all easy if they want to.

 Obviously, they don’t act because of the huge bribes they get.

Jueteng is a “Tuwid na Daan” issue. President Aquino must now reverse his “it’s not a priority” policy.

A lifestyle check of all PNP Generals is also in order.

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THE LATEST . . It looks like the President has a change of mind about appointing PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome as DILG Undersecretary.

Bartolome, who is due to retire in March 2013, is not keen on an early retirement.

President Aquino also raised the need for a new PNP Director General well ahead of the May 2013 elections.

Obvious compromise, retain Bartolome as PNP Chief until Dec. 31, 2013.

Appoint a temporary OIC Usec for 2 months.

If Gen. Bartolome refuses the DILG Usec post, one good substitute is CIDG Chief Gen. Samuel Pagdilao.

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MIRIAM’S THREAT . . Senator Miriam D. Santiago has threatened to block the nomination of Secretaries Mar Roxas, Leila de Lima and Ramon Paje in the Commission on Appointments because they snubbed her invitation to a hearing on Usec Rico Puno.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto and other Senators downplay Miriam’s threat. Under the rules of the CA, a senator cannot invoke Section 20 to block an appointment on the last session day before a break.

Well, yesterday, Miriam did raise Sec. 20 to object to Roxas’ confirmation but she was prevailed upon to withdraw it, paving the way for Roxas’ confirmation.

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8 CARJACKINGS . . In his SONA, President Aquino trumpeted PNP statistics that crime has gone down by 16%.

But recent events belie the PNP claim. NCRPO admitted that for the first 6 months of 2012, the incidence of crime in Metro Manila has gone up by 57%.

Over the last 4 weeks, there have been 8 carjackings of SUVs in Quezon City.

These vehicles include a white Toyota Vios owned by Christopher Corina, that was stolen on Aug. 24 in Barangay Sta. Teresita; Blue Toyota Revo of Edgardo Martinez that got carjacked on Aug. 25 in Barangay Bagong Pag-Asa; a black Toyota Fortuner belonging to Maricar Yacat that got taken in Barangay Don Manuel on Aug. 26; a beige Nissan X-Trail of retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Patrocinio Isleta, that was carjacked in New Manila on Aug. 27; and a silver Mitsubishi Montero of Liliosa Jusena that got commandeered on Aug. 31 along West Avenue.

A silver Honda owned by Antonio Interino, 74, was carjacked at Mindanao Ave. Bahay, Toro. Interino said, one of the hijackers was wearing a blue police T-shirt.

On Saturday afternoon, a black Nissan Navarra owned by Arlen de Guzman and a Mitsubishi Montero owned by Dr. Walter Tejada were carjacked in separate incidents in Quezon City.

Since Aug. 24, there have been 8 carjackings in Quezon City done. It looks like the QCPD is helpless to prevent these carjackings. There’s no protection for car owners in Quezon City. Taxi cabs are also easy targets.

Attention please, new NCRPO Director Leonardo Espina.

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TIDBITS . . . In an obvious move to gain cooperation from the SC employees, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno released a P15,000 cash gift for Supreme Court employees.

Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David said he is hiring 100 new officers. That’s not going to solve the problem. The old scalawags have to be kicked out. About 1/3 of BI personnel have bad records.

We disagree with President Aquino’s decision to allow the Anti-Islam video to be shown here. Let us not give our brother Muslims a reason to demonstrate. We don’t need trouble this time.

Congratulations are in order for Sen. Loren Legarda for topping the latest Pulse Asia survey for Senatorial candidates.

Sen. Miriam Santiago was loudly applauded at a book fair at the Mall of Asia.

PDEA Deputy Executive Director Carlos Gadapan was relieved of his post for lack of confidence.

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