Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Undersecretary Puno's "friends" reveal his jueteng connection!

Another case of uncoordinated miscommunication -- miscommunication na nga, uncoordinated pa! Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico E. Puno admitted he got offers to be on the take from the lucrative jueteng (numbers game) business from relatives and friends ("conduits", he calls them, that the actual operators used to extend the offer to him). He said he "turned them down".

Some questions come to mind...

(1) Why would friends and acquaintances even consider approaching him with such proposals if they didn't see a possibility that he'd be potentially open to such things? Suffice to say, one's "friends" reveal quite a lot about one's character.

(2) If Puno were serious in towing his boss's zero-tolerance line regarding corruption, then those people who extended the offer to him are potential leads to an equally serious crackdown on jueteng. Is he going to pursue these leads now?

(3) Why is this admission coming at the heels of an imminent whistle blow coming from retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz? Indeed, there is nothing like an imminent threat of exposure to smoke out people with dirty noses.

Kind of a pathetic sight watching a top-ranking cabinet official squirm...
Asked why he didn't move to arrest the emissaries, Puno said these people did not tell him anything anyway.

"They asked if they can meet with me. That's it. I told them I don't need to set an appointment because in my view, they will be proposing something which I would never agree," the undersecretary said.

Not a violation

Puno said the act of approaching him to talk about jueteng did not mean a crime was committed. "No it's not a violation. They were not even offering me anything. They just wanted to talk to me," he said.

He said he knew jueteng was the point of the invitations for a meeting because the emissaries mentioned that they were sent by people who Puno knew were jueteng operators "from northern Luzon to Southern Tagalog, from Regions 2, 3, 4, and 5."

Like a circle in a spiral, or a wheel within a wheel;
Never ending nor beginning on an ever spinning reel...


We should make a note of the above statement so that we can consider Puno's intimate knowledge of the who's-who of the jueteng trade once a full blown witch hunt is kicked off.

Speaking of noses, this whole episode is yet another example of information leaking out of Malacanang under the noses of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III's bloated "Communications" team as evident in Noynoy having to go into damage control himself:
"I'll call him (Puno) up and I'll ask him about it," Mr. Aquino said when asked whether he would tell his undersecretary to explain what he revealed on television Monday.

Mr. Aquino said the allegations that some of his officials were involved in the numbers racket came at a time when his administration was preparing a comprehensive plan to stamp out jueteng.

Your boss will be requiring a full report on how that telephone call with Puno transpired, sir.

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