09/17/10 - CEBU, Philippines – The Capitol belittled reports that jueteng operations may soon invade Cebu Province.
However, Capitol spokesman Rory Jon Sepulveda admitted that there are other forms of illegal gambling in Cebu like masiao.
But he said unlike in the past, masiao operations in the province are not so rampant anymore. Masiao results before were aired in some radio stations early in the morning, today results are just given secretly.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has a standing directive to the police to curb and eliminate masiao especially in rural areas.
Cebu Provincial Police Office chief Erson Digal already ordered his men to closely monitor the possible entry of jueteng in Cebu, although he also said Cebuanos ap-pear not to be interested in jueteng.
Jueteng is now the subject of controversy after retired archbishop Oscar Cruz alleged that ranking officials of the Aquino administration are involved in its operations.
Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Cebu reiterated its stand against receiving donations from gambling institutions and other illegal sources after the rumors that some par-ishes are receiving jueteng payola.
It was the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines that issued a statement in 2004 that it is against accepting donations from gambling money, be it legal or ille-gal, as the ethical principle says "the end does not justify the means."
It discouraged priests from soliciting or receiving funds from illegal and legal gambling institutions and operators so as not to promote a culture of gambling.
The Commission of Service of the Archdiocese, formerly Cebu Caritas Inc., said that since 2005, they already refrained from receiving donations from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation because though it is legalized, it is still a form of gambling.
The church used to be a conduit of PAGCOR's charitable works where PAGCOR entrusts its money to the Church and the Church directs the money to the poor in the form of programs and projects.
Now, the Church said it is just contenting itself with the donations from private individuals, private institutions and even government officials.
Cebu Archdiocese media liaison officer Msgr. Achilles Dakay assured that the Church does not receive donations if they know that the money is generated through il-legal activities.
All donations to the archdiocese are given to the Commission on Service where it is properly accounted before it is distributed to the different beneficiaries.
But Dakay admitted that they have no control over donations in parishes because the different dioceses in Cebu may directly receive donations from donors.
He, however, assured that priests recognize fully the stand of the Church against donations from illegal sources. (FREEMAN)