Palace orders PNP, NBI to investigate cases of missing sabungeros

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2022 10:56 AM | Updated as of Mar 09 2022 01:06 PM

No suspended e-sabong operator yet

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Malacañang on Wednesday ordered the national police and the National Bureau of Investigation to thoroughly investigate the cases of missing sabungeros in the country. 

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), meanwhile, was tasked to look into e-sabong operators and whether they violated security and surveillance requirements for not installing CCTV cameras, the memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea showed.

Some e-sabong operators had said that they have yet to install CCTV cameras at the time of some disappearances, as their establishments were newly-built. 

Senator Ronald dela Rosa earlier said a total of 34 sabungeros have gone missing as online cockfights grew in popularity.

Resource speakers at a Senate hearing in late February said that 6 men went missing at the Manila Arena on Jan. 13. Persons were also reported to have gone missing over cockfighting in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. 

A total of 5 people also disappeared at the Royal Octadome Arena in Lipa City, Batangas, which has no CCTV. The NBI already conducted inspection at the aforementioned site. 

The development also comes after a Senate body passed a resolution urging PAGCOR to suspend the licenses of several operators in relation to the missing cockfighters. 

NO SUSPENSION YET 

There was no mention in the Palace memorandum of suspending the permits of online sabong pending the results of the probe. 

"Unless otherwise directed, the operations of e-sabong licenses shall remain unaffected pending the result of the above investigations," the memo read.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III was quoted in reports last week that President Rodrigo Duterte was in favor of suspending e-sabong permits. 

Dela Rosa, in an interview on ANC this week, said Duterte had agreed with the Senate panel resolution.

But PAGCOR Chairperson Andrea Domingo said the President did not say anything about a Senate panel resolution to suspend the popular game.

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