.- The Filipino Ministry of Justice has launched an investigation into a bribery attempt on a local archbishop, who received a check sent by promoters of an illegal lottery to try to get him to cease from denouncing the practice. The $183,000 check was turned over to authorities by Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan, with a death threat if he continued denouncing the “juenteng,” an illegal lottery worth millions. The note said the archbishop should concentrate on “other matters (…), otherwise it may cost you your life.”
The archbishop also gave authorities a list of 16 suspicious local government officials who may be involved in the illegal lottery in 24 of the countries provinces and whose names surfaced during a congressional investigation in 1997.
Minister of Justice Raul Gonzalez has asked a government commission that looks into money laundering to see if the source of the check can be uncovered.