Number of missing sabungeros rises to 26

The number of missing individuals who were last seen at cockfighting arenas has risen to 26 from 20, the Philippine National Police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said Monday.

According to Emil Sumangil's "24 Oras" report, one of them is Jonnalyn Lubgin, who is four months pregnant. She went missing on January 7 after joining a cockfighting match in Laguna.

Laguna police chief Police Lieutenant Colonel Paterno Domondon said they have yet to file complaints due to lack of evidence.

"Matapos pong makunan ng salaysay, napag-usapan namin ng mga imbestigador, eh medyo kulang pa po 'yung mga ebidensiyang hawak namin para mag-file ng kahit anong kaso po. In-explain namin, naintindihan naman po nila," said Domondon.

(After we got the statements, we discussed with the investigators that the evidence we have is still insufficient to file a report with. We explained this, and they understood.) 


Domondon added that they are also investigating whether game-fixing is a factor in the disappearances.

The CIDG, which was also tapped to probe the incident, said it already the number of missing cockfighting enthusiasts for which it has received reports has risen to 26. It has also secured the ATM card of one of the sabungeros, which could help in the investigation.

Relatives of the missing individuals also went to Malacañang to ask for President Rodrigo Duterte's help. But they were not allowed to move past Mendiola because they did not have a permit to conduct a rally.

The CIDG already asked the owners of the cockfighting arena to cooperate in the investigation to identify the financiers in cockfighting games. — Consuelo Marquez/BM, GMA News