Duterte lets e-sabong operations go on, says gov’t gets P640M a month from it
CEBU CITY — Saying it gives the government an earning of P640 million per month, President Rodrigo Duterte announced his decision not to suspend “e-sabong” or online cockfighting operations.
Speaking before local officials in Central Visayas on Thursday evening, March 31, the country’s top executive said the government badly needs money amid the fight against COVID-19.
“Itong e-sabong, gusto ng mga congressmen na ipahinto. Sabi ko bakit ipahinto?,” Duterte said in a speech at the Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark where he attended a joint meeting with the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) and the Regional Task Force (RTF) Central Visayas.
(Congressmen want to stop e-sabong. I said why do they want to stop it?)
“Itong e-sabong is giving us P640 million a month. Saan tayo kukuha ng pera na naubos man sa COVID. We are short of funds (so) sabi ko ipatuloy ang e-sabong,” he added.
(This e-sabong is giving us P640 million a month. Where do we get money from when our funds were spent for operations against COVID-19. We are short of funds so I said e-sabong should continue).
Duterte, however, mentioned the negative effects of e-sabong on many families.
“I don’t know if it’s true. I received reports that many Filipinos ran out of money and had to sell their house. Even wives and students engaged in e-sabong. It’s becoming a very serious problem in our country,” he said.
“Let’s study the problem first. If the problem is just that, why should I stop it? We need money,” he added.
Senators earlier urged Malacañang to suspend e-sabong while the disappearances of some players had yet to be solved.
The investigation conducted by lawmakers showed that businessman and former gaming consultant Charlie “Atong” Ang was linked to the disappearance of at least 34 e-sabong players.
But Ang denied the accusations, saying his rival operators of e-sabong engaged in a conspiracy to wage a “trial by publicity” against his company, which is being linked to the disappearance of e-sabong players allegedly involved in game-fixing.
Malacañang ordered the Philippine National Police and National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an in-depth investigation into the disappearance of the 34 e-sabong players.
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