February 18, 2018, 5:58 am
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Jueteng lords use dummies to control STL, Senate told

ALLEGED jueteng lord Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda controls small town lottery (STL) and jueteng operations in Luzon and parts of the Visayas using dummies, the Senate committee on games and amusements was told yesterday.

Antonio Bago, a former policeman who worked as provincial manager of Even Chance Gaming Corp. in Camarines Sur, told senators he was allowed to operate STL in the province through a relative of Pineda.

Bago said he knew Pineda was behind STL operations in Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bataan, Santiago City in Isabela, Southern Leyte and Zambales.

He said Pineda owns Even Chance Gaming Corp. and is using a certain Nestor Napa as dummy to be able to operate STL in Camarines Sur and the Visayas.

He said when he was provincial manager for Even Chance, the company came up with a system that would enable it to operate STL and “jueteng” at the same time.

Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte, who was present at the Senate hearing, insisted that Pineda’s Even Chance violated the law because it is using dummies.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, committee chairman, said he is considering inviting Pineda in the next hearing to explain his ability to finance STL operators and edge out other applicants.

Lacson said he believes Pineda, husband of Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda, is behind the operations of jueteng in the guise of small-town lottery.

“He is operating in many provinces and many guerilla and bookie operations, He should be invited in the hearing,’’ he told Senate reporters after a four-hour hearing.

Lacson said gambling lords are in the STL business because they are able to fix the computations.

He said gambling lords operating STL remit a small amount to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and amass huge profits.

In Cebu City, President Duterte defended PCSO general manager Alexander Balutan for reportedly throwing a lavish Christmas party for the agency’s rank and file last year.

Duterte said the allegations are “nothing to me as long as the money reaches (the poor).” – With Jocelyn Montemayor
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