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Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 1 month ago


This illegal numbers game helped cause the downfall of deposed President Estrada. His successor, President Arroyo, is also being hounded by this game of chance that preys on the poor.


Rumors of jueteng kickbacks received by the First Family were swirling even before Arroyo assumed office (her senatorial and vice-presidential campaigns were rumored to have been financed partly by jueteng lord Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda, her fellow Capampangan), but it was at the height of the “Hello, Garci” scandal that these rumors were given a face. Three self-confessed bagmen and a former aide of a disgraced poll commissioner gave explosive testimonies connecting members of the First Family to jueteng money.


Sandra Cam first came out, followed by Richard Garcia, and Demosthenes Abraham Riva who separately told a Senate hearing that First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, presidential son Mikey and Mr. Arroyo’s brother, Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio Arroyo, had been receiving payola from jueteng operations in Bicol. They said they learned of the Arroyos’ kickbacks through their conduits.


But it was Michaelangelo Zuce, an aide of former commissioner Virgilio Garcillano and a former staff member of Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Joey Rufino, who directly linked the President to jueteng. He said that before the May 2004 elections, the President distributed money to several election officials at her house in La Vista, Quezon City, in the presence of Pineda’s wife.


The Senate hearing went nowhere after Garcia and Riva retracted their statements a few months later. The two said they were merely “coached” by Sen. Panfilo Lacson into linking the Arroyos to jueteng.


Zuce’s testimony also failed to take off after one probable witness who could have corroborated Zuce’s claim did not cooperate. Former Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy Jr. who was also supposedly present at the La Vista meeting, took refuge in the US after his defeat in the polls and has refused to come to Manila to testify, supposedly for fear of his life.


Source of this information is Newsbreak.

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