Byline: EDMER F. PANESA
Just like the Senate, the House of Representatives is divided on the issue of whether or not the illegal numbers game jueteng should be legalized.
House Majority Leader Prospero Nograles rejected proposals to decriminalize jueteng as he pointed out this can only provoke moralists and can only trigger debates that could further divide the nation.
"We should not join em just because we cant beat em," Nograles said in a statement.
But Cavite Representative Gilbert Remulla, chairman of the House committee on public information, does not agree with Nograles.
In a separate statement, Remulla said legalizing jueteng is so far the only solution he sees to once and for all stop the issue about gambling lords and the alleged involvement of government officials and the police in the operations of the illegal numbers game.
He said he is worried that the controversy will soon die down without solid solutions on how the government should deal with the continued proliferation of illegal gambling in the country.
"We should learn from experience. Jueteng is here to stay because poverty itself drove a lot of Filipinos to this addiction to games of chance like jueteng," Remulla explained.
Instead of legalizing jueteng, Nograles said authorities should instead put into operation the existing laws that will finally eradicate illegal gambling.
The lawmaker from Davao City said there is no need to pass any legislation in order to cripple jueteng operations because this can be done by simply implementing Republic Act (RA) 9287, which prescribes stiffer penalties on illegal gambling. …