MANILA, Philippines - Outspoken Archbishop Oscar Cruz said he continued to receive death threats because of his campaign against an illegal numbers racket known locally as "jueteng."

The retired archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, Philippines, said the most recent threat came in early September, the Asian church news agency UCA News reported.

"I received a check for 80,000 (Philippine) pesos ($1,918) and an envelope containing dried petals," he told a forum in Manila Sept. 18.

"I think it's not that hard to understand what that means," he added. "I used to receive black ribbons cut into pieces."

Philippine criminal syndicates and insurgents are known to threaten potential victims by sending black ribbons, flowers, bullets and even coffins. Such warnings are meant to serve notice for a target to change their ways.

The retired prelate said he was earlier told of a plot to kill him, but he indicated he would not stop his fight against illegal gambling.

"It's hard to fight evil and I'm already old. It's a pity that instead of improving our values we are retrogressing," Archbishop Cruz said.

"I don't think (that this country) is going anywhere," he said.

In 2004, Archbishop Cruz established his anti-gambling group, People's Crusade Against Jueteng, with the aim of stamping out the illegal numbers racket, which is popular with rich and poor alike.

The prelate said jueteng continues to thrive in the country, particularly in the northern provinces of Luzon, and has even invaded schools in metropolitan Manila.

He said the "ballpark figure" that racketeers earn each day from the game is at least $1 million.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino Sept. 17 vowed to eradicate jueteng and ordered a crackdown on small-town lotteries, which he said are being used as fronts for illegal numbers rackets.

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OAKLAND, Calif. - Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, to be installed in October as archbishop of San Francisco, was arrested in San Diego early Aug. 26 for driving under the influence.

The archbishop, a San Diego native, had his mother in the car.

In an Aug. 27 statement issued from the diocese of Oakland, which Cordileone has led for the past three years, the prelate apologized “for my error in judgment” and said he felt “shame for the disgrace I have brought upon the Church and myself.”

“I will repay my debt to society and I ask forgiveness from my family and my friends and co-workers at the diocese of Oakland and the archdiocese of San Francisco,” he added. “I pray that God, in His inscrutable wisdom, will bring some good out of this.”

According to the archbishop’s statement, he was driving his mother to her home after dinner at the home of some friends, “along with a priest friend visiting from outside the country.”

Cordileone’s mother lives near the campus of San Diego State University, where police had set up a DUI checkpoint.

He admitted in his statement that he was found to be over California’s legal blood alcohol level, which is 0.08 per cent.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Cordileone spent the night in jail, and was released shortly before noon once he posted a $2,500 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charge Oct. 9 — five days after his scheduled installation as San Francisco’s archbishop. If convicted, Cordileone faces penalties of up to three years of probation, two days in jail and an $1,800 fine.

Mark McCullough, the police officer making the arrest, told the Chronicle that Cordileone appeared intoxicated but was amiable.

“He was very calm, somewhat apologetic at the time,” McCullough said. “He said he’d been drinking. But he wasn’t a stumbling, falling-down drunk.”

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