The best sign yet that elections will go on as scheduled in May next year? Not this announcement, or this unveiled threat, or this counter-threat, although the first and the last look, ah, very promising indeed. But this policy change.
The breaking news story on Inq7.net gets right to the point.
STOPPING “jueteng,” a popular illegal numbers game in Philippines, will no longer be a priority for the Philippine National Police (PNP), its spokesman said Tuesday.
"The PNP will not be tied up to [sic] monitoring jueteng alone,” said Senior Superintendent Samuel Pagdilao, citing other police duties such as anti-crime operations, and fighting insurgency and terrorism, among others.
"Mayroon tayong dapat bantayan pa [there other matters that we have to attend to]…the threat of terrorism is there, and we really have to protect our people from the damage that terrorism can do to our community," Pagdilao said.
"Do you agree that the PNP will focus only on illegal gambling and forego its other responsibilities?” Pagdilao asked.
Funny. I don’t recall anyone, not even anti-jueteng gadfly Archbishop Oscar Cruz, saying the fight against jueteng was a zero-sum game. Since when did it become an all-or-nothing proposition? Of course, jueteng itself has always been a big-sum game, with the untaxed, unmonitored money coming in handy during elections. That makes Pagdilao’s announcement, made nine months before the regularly scheduled elections, even more pregnant with meaning, don’t you think?