MANILA— At least 8 police personnel are facing charges for their involvement in online sabong, while some cops are still under summary proceedings, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Tuesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier in the day approved killing the operations of online sabong upon the recommendation of the interior department, citing the ills it has caused society.
PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said some cops involved in the disappearances of cockfighting enthusiasts in San Pablo, Laguna, have already been charged.
She did not elaborate.
At least 30 sabungeros have disappeared due to the gambling platform.
"Nakapagsampa na tayo ng kaso sa mga pulis na na-identify ng mga kaanak sa mga panahon na dinukot ang master agent sa Laguna sometime August of 2021," Fajardo said in a televised briefing.
Video from PTV
In a separate statement, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said it has ordered the national police to stop e-sabong operations nationwide.
Fajardo, however, said they were still coordinating with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
"We'll just wait for the official communication kung paano ba natin isasagawa yung pagi-inspect at pagmo-monitor kung mayroon pa pong mga existing e-sabong operation, particularly those sa mga e-sabong betting station para po hindi magkaroon ng kaguluhan natin sa utos nga ng ating Presidente," she said.
WHAT DID THE DILG SURVEY SAY?
Duterte said there was a survey conducted by the DILG, which served as the basis of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año to recommend the suspension of e-sabong.
The agency said 62 percent of their 8,463 survey respondents between April 19 to 20 wanted online sabong to stop, while 34 percent said they want it to continue "but with tighter regulation."
Among the reasons they wanted e-sabong operations to stop were the following:
- Gambling addiction
- Bankruptcy of players
- Impact to family members
- Neglect of work and studies
"The respondents were persons who are engaged in e-sabong whether they are agents, employees, bettors or players, and non-participants or non-players but related or acquainted with the three stakeholders mentioned," the DILG statement read.
Año said his agency recommended the suspension "until a better set of framework and regulations are formulated" and until stakeholders were protected from the "moral decay of society."
Despite this, physical sabong will not stop as long as they follow minimum health standards.
“The President’s decision based on public sentiment against on-line gambling is a sign of the responsive governance of his administration. It serves the common good and the preservation of the moral fabric of our society,” he said.
PAGCOR authorized a total of six companies to do e-sabong, as of April last year.