Senate panel moves to halt e-sabong; Pagcor okays suspension
MANILA, Philippines— A Senate panel on Thursday moved to suspend the operations and licenses of e-sabong or online cockfighting until cases of the missing 31 “sabungeros” (cockfight enthusiasts) have been resolved.
During the hearing of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III proposed that the panel issue a resolution to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to suspend all the licenses of e-sabong operators “until we find an acceptable conclusion to what’s happening to these 31 missing personalities.”
Senator Panfilo Lacson echoed Sotto’s motion, clarifying that the proposed suspension covers the operations and existing e-sabong licenses of Belvedere Vista Corp., Lucky 8 Star Quest Inc., Visayas Cockers Club Inc., Jade Entertainment And Gaming Technologies, Inc., Newin Cockers Alliance Gaming Corp., Philippine Cockfighting International Inc., and Golden Buzzer, Inc.
Senator Francis Tolentino, meanwhile, added an amendment to the motion as he proposed the temporary removal of e-sabong payment system from the GCash menu.
When no member objected to Sotto’s motion, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who is leading the probe as chairman of the panel, directed the committee to immediately issue the resolution.
“So ComSec (Committee Secretary), you prepare a resolution addressed to Pagcor to suspend the operation of e-sabon hanggat hindi mabigyan ng linaw itong 31 missing persons,” Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa then asked the acting Vice President of E-Sabong Licensing Department of Pagcor, Diane Erica Jogno, present in the hearing if the resolution sits well with the regulatory body.
Responding to the question, Jogno said, “As guided by our top management, we are okay po with the suspending of the operations and we will also seek the approval po from the Office of the President.”
The panel head thanked the Pagcor official, saying that the committee will not adjourn “with a heavy heart.”
Dela Rosa, however, clarified if Jogno’s statement is the official stand of Pagcor.
Jogno answered yes, reiterating that they will still seek the approval of the Office of the President to suspend e-sabong operations in the country.
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