President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday apologized for his initial decision to allow e-sabong operations despite reports of bettors finding themselves in heavy debt and cockfight enthusiasts getting abducted.
As he said in previous speeches, Duterte pointed out the hundreds of billions of pesos in revenues raked in by online cockfighting for the government.
"On e-sabong, I am sorry, I realized it late," Duterte said during his inspection of the main campus of the National Academy of Sports located at the New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.
"It was at P600 million a month, billions in a year because there are a lot of operations. I am very sorry it had to happen," he added.
Duterte decided to stop e-sabong operations in May, citing a Department of Interior and Local Government finding that communities are largely opposed to e-sabong operations since it resulted in a deterioration of moral values.
He initially defended e-sabong operations in March and April even amid the sudden disappearance dozens of persons involved in the industry.
The case of missing sabungeros have yet to be resolved, prompting families to put up a reward for information on their missing relatives. —NB, GMA News