QUEZON CITY— “We never have and will never involve ourselves in illegal number games,” reads a statement from the four Pangasinan lady solons tagged as Urdujas of Pangasinan.
Reps. Gina de Venecia (4th District), Kimi Cojuangco (5th District), Marlyn Agabas (6th District) and Rachel Arenas (3rd District) categorically denied a newsfeed circulated last Thursday to national and Pangasinan media that practically branded them as would-be 'operators' of the PCSO Loterya ng Bayan (PLB) in their province.
While they are united versus illegal gambling, their joint statement however said: We prefer the government- approved PLB to curb the illegal numbers game or jueteng only because it is legitimate and will directly benefit the government and the people.”
The controversial news feed was sent Thursday through the e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org. When asked about his source, Celso Manuel, former commentator of Sonshine Radio-Dagupan, said that he based the news from the press conference of Juico on that same day.
This however was categorically denied by PCSO chair Margarita Juico. The PCSO chief issued a statement Friday that said “Nais ko ring tiyakin sa inyo na ang mga nabanggit na kinatawan ng Kongreso ay di rin magiging “operator” ng PLB dahil ang kanilang pangunahing trabaho ay gumawa ng mga batas.”
Further, she thanked the lady solons for being united in their fight against jueteng. “Ibig kong ipabatid ang aming lubos na pasasalamat sa apat na kinatawan ng lalawigan ng Pangasinan, na pumapanig sa pagkakaroon ng PCSO Loterya ng Bayan (PLB) upang masugpo ang illegal numbers game o jueteng,” she said.
According to De Venecia, they are conducting dialogues not only with the PCSO chief and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas but also with all the leaders “na nasa daang matuwid” to put an end to the unlawful conduct of some groups and individuals, who continue to enrich themselves illegally at the expense of the poor people.