The new jueteng lord

Few people have heard about Boy Jalandoni. That’s Julio J. Jalandoni to be exact, married to Sylvia Espino. But his name shot to national prominence on Tuesday morning, Sept. 21, when his name was mentioned as the “jueteng” lord of Bacolod City during the Senate Blue Ribbon investigation into the illegal numbers game. Boy Jalandoni isn’t even from Bacolod City. He grew up in Jaro, Iloilo City and lives in the national capital, with address at 13 Apostol St., San Lorenzo Village, Makati City.

This man has kept a low profile for many years, although a quick check on Internet search engines reveal that he was among the favored few of the Arroyo administration, having been appointed to financially-rewarding positions. He sits on the board of directors of the Philcomsat Holdings Corp. and Philippine National Oil Co.

The search didn’t end there, however. The search engines kept turning out the names “Julio J. Jalandoni/Sylvia E. Jalandoni” on the radar screen. So I plunged deeper. This became a voyage of discovery at how rich (or maybe appear to be rich) the couple have become. Several giant corporations in the country list the couple among their top 100 stockholders, rubbing elbows with corporate securities firms and the super rich of the country. Consider the following:

  • In a disclosure report submitted by Atty. Ma. Caridad Gonzales, corporate secretary and compliance officer of Globe Telecom, Inc. dated July 14, 2009 to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the spouses Julio J. Jalandoni and Sylvia E. Jalandoni are ranked number 62 in the top 100 with 2,500 shares representing 0.0018% of the outstanding stockholdings.
  • Ayala Land Inc. listed the spouses at number 59 with 1,000,000 shares representing 0.0076%.
  • Jollibee disclosed that the couple owns 110,000 shares.

I have little knowledge about the stock market, but I can surmise that these stock holdings are worth in the hundreds of mllions of pesos. How did the couple amass so much wealth? So I dug deeper. From reliable sources, I learned that Julio J. Jalandoni  is a trusted aide of former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and his brother, the billionaire congressman Iggy Arroyo. He is described as a “bagman” of the former FG. Add one plus one, and you can easily figure out that Julio J. Jalandoni didn’t make all that fortune through hard labor. In fact, in the tradition of Jose Pidal, one can surmise that Julio J. Jalandoni is a “front” for the former FG.

Indeed, such services deserve to be rewarded. And rewarded, Julio J. Jalandoni was. The franchise for the Small Town Lottery (STL) for Bacolod City and Negros Occidental was awarded to him before the end of the Arroyo administration, although he isn’t really from the place. Indeed, it pays to be working for the right people. And recently, sources in the jueteng industry told me that Boy Jalandoni expanded into the more lucrative jueteng operations, with Iggy Arroyo as his patron in Negros Occidental. He is reputed to reap millions every month from this illicit operation.

This is how a little known individual became a national by-word when the Senate Blue Ribbon committee began its probe into jueteng operations. Retired Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz named Boy Jalandoni as the jueteng lord of Bacolod, and when he did, many people asked: “Boy who?”

While Jalandoni’s clout and power was anchored upon the Arroyos, he has his own power-base to lean on now that his patrons are out of power. Boy Jalandoni happens to be the father of Mark E. Jalandoni, deputy ombudsman for Luzon, and the acknowledged right-hand man of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.  This detail helps explain why Mark Jalandoni was appointed to the position over a more senior and better qualified candidate, Roque Dator. Jalandoni had the blessings of FG Mike, and his wife made sure he can perform the role of back-up for the Ombudsman during crunch time.

Meanwhile, the BIR might want to open the bank accounts of Julio J. Jalandoni and his spouse, Sylvia Espino-Jalandoni. The paper trail to the Arroyo plunder could start there. And the Blue Ribbon committee should summon Boy Jalandoni to its next hearing so he can start telling his story about how he became a super-millionaire.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

5 Responses to The new jueteng lord

  1. Here’s a link to a privilege speech delivered by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile about Julio Jalandoni:


  2. Gov. Alfredo Maranon confirms that Boy Jalandoni is the STL operator in Negros Occidental. The Bacolod Daily Star reports:

    Archbishop Oscar Cruz included “Boy Jalandoni in Bacolod” among the alleged illegal operators of jueteng in the country, in a list read by Senator Teofisto Guingona III at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, which he chairs, yesterday.

    Cruz also named retired police chief Jesus Verzosa and Interior Undersecretary Rico Puno as “ultimate recipients” of jueteng money at the Senate hearing.

    A charge Verzosa and Puno vehemently denied.

    Gov. Alfredo Marañon yesterday said what he knows is that a Julio “Boy” Jalandoni has a franchise to operate Small Town Lottery in Negros Occidental.

    Jalandoni who is said to be from Iloilo, is the father of Deputy Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni, a source said.

    The source also said Jalandoni has been closely associated with former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and his STL operation is called Super Lucky Beagler Inc.

    But Rep. Ignacio Arroyo Jr. (Neg. Occ., 5th District) yesterday denied this claim, saying he and his brother are not close to Jalandoni. He may make people believe that he is close to us but he is not, Arroyo said.

    Jalandoni could not be reached for comment as of press time.

    Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said he is not aware of Jalandoni’s being involved in jueteng in Bacolod City but will ask the police to look into the revelation of Cruz.

    Senior Supt. Celestino Guara, Bacolod police director, said there are no jueteng operations in Bacolod City and Cruz could be referring to operations outside of the city.

    Guara, however, said he will investigate the claim of Cruz.

    Supt. Roderick Alba, Negros Occidental OIC police director, yesterday said the name Boy Jalandoni is not on their lists of known jueteng operators but they will also investigate the matter.

    A source said people apply for STL permits and use it as front for jueteng. When the police apprehend their people, they show that they have STL licenses, the source said.

    “Actually the bulk of the STL operators’ activities are in jueteng or the illegal numbers game. I know it is nothing but a front for jueteng,” he added.

    Another source also alleged that STL operators give very little remittances to local governments but officials have not complained and the perception is that there is an alignment with the first gentleman in the past.

    Rep. Arroyo has also denied this.*CPG


  3. Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Mark Espino Jalandoni was a “midnight appointee” of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for a seven year term. Before joining the Ombudsman, he was a prosecutor in the DOJ and an undersecretary for the Presidential Legal Counsel’s office. Only 43 years old, jalandoni was ranked no. 2 only to Atty. Roque Dator, chief of the field investigation office by the Judicial and Bar Council. But he got the appointment because of his close connection to then First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. He is known to be the only official in the Ombudsman who could make Merceditas Gutierrez laugh.


  4. Now it can be shown that Deputy Ombudsman Mark E. Jalandoni is the Mike/Gloria Arroyo umbilical cord to Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez. He is there to do rearguard action for the Arroyos and make sure Merci doesn’t turn about face.


  5. Senate Blue Ribbon committee chairman TJ Guingona’s inquiry into jueteng should provide the DOJ and BIR with enough ammunition to dig into the ill-gotten wealth of individuals like Boy Jalandoni. Unfortunately, the government seems reluctant to undertake such a massive uncovering of evidence of plunder. Is it more talk than action?


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