Filtered By: Topstories

Duterte says he will stop e-sabong if ill effects proven

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he was open to studying the continued operations of online cockfighting or e-sabong and may even stop it if its ill effects on the public are proven.

“Pero itong e-sabong, pero ngayon I don’t know if it is true and I don’t know if it is really something which is marami raw mga Pilipino ang naubusan, nabenta 'yung bahay, mga estudyante nagsali na, kasi ayan eh pero kung totoo yan before I go, parahin ko,” he said during his speech at the National and Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict joint meeting in Lapu-Lapu City.

(But this e-sabong, now I don't know if it's true that many Filipinos said they have ran out of money and students are also into it, but if these are true before I go, I'll stop it.)

“Let us study if it is true, it's getting to be a very serious problem for the Filipinos. Pati raw yung mga asawa magpusta ganoon, tignan natin pag-aralan muna natin then kung totoo ‘yan hintuin ko ‘yan (Even the wives are also betting, let's see and study first then if that's true I'll stop that),” he added.

Duterte earlier thumbed down calls to halt its operations, saying it is giving government coffers as much as P640 million a month in revenues.

Several lawmakers and groups have appealed to halt its operations after over 30 agents went missing since last year.

“Itong e-sabong gusto ng mga congressman na ipahinto. Sabi ko bakit ipahinto yan ang e-sabong is giving us P640 million a month. Saan tayo magkuha ng pera naubos sa COVID, we are short of funds. Kaya sabi ko patuloy ang e-sabong ipahuli ninyo yan trabaho ng pulis yan, then solve the problem,” he said.

(Our congressmen wanted to stop this e-sabong. I said, why stop that e-sabong which is giving us P640 million a month. Where do we get money to spend on COVID recovery, we are short of funds. So I said keep the e-sabong, you should give police the job to arrest perpetrators, then solve the problem.)

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Investigation Group Sabungero (SITG) and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) earlier filed complaints of kidnapping and serious illegal detention against the management and security personnel of a cockfighting arena.

The PNP initially reported that the missing cockfighting enthusiasts disappeared after participating in a cockfight in Sta. Cruz on January 13.

The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs said it would urge Duterte to direct the suspension of the licenses of firms operating online cockfighting until the cases of the missing cockfighting enthusiasts were resolved.—LDF, GMA News