21 March 2007

The party that jueteng built?

WHILE reading through the GMA Network news website last night, this item also grabbed my interest. Again, it is yet another proof that the spat between Kampi president and 2nd district representative Luis Villafuerte and his son, Camarines Sur Gov. LRay who belongs to Lakas-CMD, shows no signs of abating.

That news item shows that jueteng, that illegal numbers game that triggered Erap Estrada's downfall, is one reasons behind the split, with no less than Bicol's police chief Gen. Ricardo Padilla as the newest casualty.

If you find that report wanting in details, this column by Ray Marfil that appeared in Abante Tonite provides additional juicy details.

This Kampi-Lakas bloodletting has far reaching ramifications. For one, in spite of pronouncements to the contrary, the former is definitely riding high on successful raids on the Lakas faithful, buoyed by party switchers like Bulacan Gov. Josie de la Cruz and Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia. So much so that Rep. Villafuerte now wants equal status for Kampi and Lakas in the administration coalition when the next Congress opens.

But then again, what else is new? Maybe this, especially the section on current officials and notable members. Immediately, two cliches come to mind: If Max's is the house that fried chicken built, what does that make of Kampi? And if today it wants a pari passu treatment -- on strength of increasing membership -- even before election day, doesn't that make Kampi the dominant party in jueteng?

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