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Group rejects police gambling claim

Officers say alleged return of illegal numbers game to province hasn't happened

Group rejects police gambling claim
Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz talks to senators during a Senate investigation of the illegal numbers racket called jueteng (Photo: Senate of the Philippines)
Artemio A. Dumlao, Bengued, Abra
Philippines

May 9, 2011

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A Church-led group in Abra province says there has been a recent resurgence of organized gambling in the area, dismissing police claims that it has been stamped out. The Abra Multi-Sectoral Group claims the illegal numbers racket called jueteng has returned to at least 10 towns in the province, including the capital Bangued, but the police are denying it. Jueteng operations should be stopped “because this will only aggravate the poverty of the people,” said Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian of Bangued. Chief Inspector Angelito Dangli Junior, however, said “there is no jueteng in the province to stop based on reports of the [different] town police chiefs.” Bishop Jaucian countered this claim by saying his group is being flooded with complaints from parishioners that illegal gambling is going on in many places and authorities appear to be powerless to stop it. The police admitted to the existence of an illegal operation exploiting legal online basketball-betting, but said it was closed down immediately. They say they raided Basketball 38, an Internet café in Bangued on Saturday. PL14139
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