23 senators ask Malacañang, Pagcor to suspend e-sabong operations
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate has already transmitted to Malacañang and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) its resolution calling for the suspension of e-sabong or online cockfighting operations in the country.
The resolution was signed by 23 of 24 senators, according to Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.
Dela Rosa, as chairman Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, is leading the probe on missing cockfighting aficionados.
“Soft copies were sent to Malakanyang and Pagcor last night. The hard copies will be delivered today,” Dela Rosa said in a text message on Tuesday.
The senator explained that since Congress is on break, the resolution adopted by the panel during its hearing last week can be transmitted directly to Malacañang and Pagcor.
“The said resolution can not be adopted in the plenary since we are on break but it is good to go since it already bears the signatures of the 23 senators,” he said.
“All the proceedings that were done by my committee are in the the official records of the Senate,” he further explained.
Only Senator Leila de Lima, who has been detained over drug charges, was not able to sign the resolution.
“Si Sen. De Lima lang kasi hindi umabot sa filing ‘yung signature niya but she supports our resolution according to her staff,” Dela Rosa added.
Dela Rosa earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte agreed to suspend e-sabong operations.
In signing the resolution, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan noted the alarming case of missing individuals associated with the said online gambling scheme.
“Nakakagulat, nakakalungkot, at nakakagalit na dahil sa isang online gambling scheme ay may mga kababayan tayong nawawala. Panawagan ng kanilang pamilya ang agarang pagkahanap ng kanilang mga mahal sa buhay,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
(It’s shocking, saddening, and outrageous that because of one online gambling scheme, there are people missing. The call of their families is to immediately find their missing loved ones.)
“Wala talagang magandang dulot ang sugal. Sinasabi nila na ‘easy money’ daw ito pero anything that comes easy is not worth having. This should serve as a lesson for everyone na mag-ingat sa mga ganitong scheme,” he added.
(Gambling truly brings nothing good. They say it’s “easy money” but anything that comes easy is not worth having. This should serve as a lesson for everyone to be cautious about this kind of scheme.)
Senator Risa Hontiveros also joined her colleagues in calling for the suspension of e-sabong operations until the cases of the missing cockfight enthusiasts are resolved.
“The disappearance of the sabungeros — which allegedly involved game-fixing, the participation of armed men, the supposed lack of CCTV footage, and the circulation of fake photos — must be investigated,” she said in a separate statement.
“Hence, I fully support the ongoing Senate probe that will hopefully lead to the resurfacing of the 31 missing sabungeros and institutionalize measures moving forward to ensure that these disappearances won’t happen again. If there are criminal elements behind this, they must be brought to justice immediately,” Hontoveros further said.
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