By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
|Jueteng paraphernalia and bets|
A former police top brass in my 2.8 million populated province Pangasinan told me that the proceeds of Meridian Jai Alai (successor of jueteng whose legality is under injunction at the Court of Appeals) run up to P10 million a day.
“Tangal mo araw-araw ang 30% (P3 million) para sa mga panalo and tauhan (like cabo, cobradores, maintainers) ng palaro, tangal mo ang 20% (P2 million) para sa mga pulitiko sa national and local, para sa kapulisan, sa operator ng sugal meron siyang naiwan na P5 million daily”.
He quantified that P5 million (from a manipulated draw in a rattan made container being held thrice a day) in 30 days or one month would be a staggering P150 million or P1.8 billion a year.
“Puwedi na siyang magpatakbo ng gobernador?” I posed.
My source told me that funding a gubernatorial candidate is an understatement. “He can even fund a presidential bet!”
Now I know why the legality of Meridian Jai Alai is stranded at the Court of Appeals for several years already. Geeez, usually injunction case is resolved by months or a year! Why the procrastination at the C.A?
“Ano bang meron diyan sa Meridiane at hindi ma resolve-resolved ng C.A?” I asked.
I asked the top brass about the clamor of chiefs of police in Pangasinan why they have been ordered, through a memorandum, that they should not be taking their weekly share from Meridian.
“Umaangal sila, wala na daw silang pangpaka-in sa mga tauhan nila, and pang-gastos sa operation nila”.
He told me that it is not only Pangasinan but other provinces that are deprived of the S.O.P from the number game played like jueteng that is managed by controversial Gambling Boss Atong Ang.
“The same order too in other provinces, the police there were ordered not to accept their share,” he said.
He explained this happened because then Chief of the PNP Director General Alan Purisima suspected Atong Ang to be behind the bankrolling of demolition job where his mansion and a four-hectare property in Nueva Ecija, a multi-million peso official residence for the chief of Philippine National Police, and his 2013 model multi-million pesos Toyota Prado have been exposed in the media.
He said the police should not be smarting. The policy now is different to the time of former PNP Chief Ping Lacson where the cops were ordered not to accept bribes from jueteng operators at the same time police operatives in Camp Crame would sweep the gambling dens in the provinces at the expense of the chiefs of police who found themselves relieved and sued.
“Pero dito ngayon, no-take policy sa Meridiane pero puweding mag pa bukis (where another operator runs a jueteng game) and other kinds of (illegal) games”.
That other games which have been proliferating in Pangasinan now are the illegal and manipulated drop-balls whose god father is a vice mayor in La Union, tupadas, and video kareras.
The scheme, if indeed it was true, was Purisima wanted to punish Ang to make his revenues decline.
I asked him too about another obstacles the bukis (jueteng being held in the areas of Meriadiane) being raided by the operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the National Bureau of Investigation.
He told me these guys have been covered already.
Oh, when I told him that I was amazed by the legal chutzpah of the lawyer of Meridian that he was able to make a stunt that landed the fate of the game at the C.A and snatched for several years an injunction that presently gives it a semblance of legality.
“Bilib ako, hinigop nila Atong Ang ang kita sa jueteng by banning the operators of the latter,” I said.
He whispered to me that the lawyer-whiz kid of Meridian is a senator.
“Bago nila maisip iyan, na isip na naming tatlo iyang making jueteng as legal. Doon sa amin, transparent ang bola makikita mismo ng bettors unlike sa Meridian”.
He said the almost P5 million daily Ang’s earns goes out in Pangasinan.
“Mas mabuti iyong taga province mismo ang nagpapa sugal kasi ang pera umiikot sa local economy that benefits the people”.
The recent pronouncement of Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya on the viability of Uber taxi was bad taste.
For me it was more of “political pronouncement” to feed his popularity but did not set well to those who understand the law.
“People prefer to use these tech-based transport services because they are more convenient. It’s that simple“.
He should tell all and sundry that the operation of Uber run smack on the laws of the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board and the common and private carriers in the Civil Code.
He should understand that the unhampered operation of Uber prejudices public transport owners who regularly paid franchise and tax to the government.
Uber,that uses smartphone application to arrange rides between riders and drivers , do not pay any of these taxes.
According to its description seen on Uber’s website : It is a ridesharing service headquartered in San Francisco, United States, which operates in multiple international cities.Customers use the app to request rides and track their reserved vehicle's location. As of August 29, 2014, the service was available in 45 countries and more than 200 cities worldwide, and was valued at US$18.2 billion
Upon inception, Uber offered only full-size luxury cars for hire, and the "UberBlack" title was adopted for the company's main service (named after the "black cars" private transportation services in New York City) In 2012, the company launched its "UberX" program, which expanded the service to any qualified driver with an acceptable vehicle. Due to a lack of regulation, Uber can offer lower fees, so the service has become extremely competitive with traditional taxi services, expanding Uber's appeal to a broader cross-section of the market.
Uber is the subject of ongoing protests not only from public utility vehicles in the Philippines but taxi drivers, taxi companies and representative bodies in other countries. They believe that ridesharing companies are illegal taxicab operations that engage in unfair business practices and compromise passenger safety. As of September 2014, protests had been staged in Germany, France, England, and other nations. Uber also continues to resolve issues with governmental bodies, including those of the U.S. and Australia. Recently, Uber was banned in India after the driver of one of its vehicles raped a female passenger.
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at email@example.com).