Senate panel wants to limit e-sabong operations to Sundays, holidays
MANILA, Philippines — Aside from the immediate filing of appropriate charges against those involved in the disappearance of dozens of cockfight enthusiasts, a Senate panel also wanted the regulation of e-sabong (online cockfighting) industry by limiting its operations only every Sunday and on legal holidays.
These are just among the initial recommendations by the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs that looked into the missing cockfighting aficionados.
The panel headed by Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa concluded its probe on Monday after conducting four public hearings.
“First, there’s a need to craft a law, regulating the e-sabong industry which includes among others, limiting e-sabong operations to Sundays and legal holidays,” Dela Rosa said as he read the initial recommendations of the panel.
The limited operations, according to him, are almost similar to what was provided for under Presidential Decree No. 499 or the Cockfighting law of 1974.
“Such regulation will also include clear delineation of powers and functions of government agencies involved in e-sabong, strict implementation of imposition of taxes to e-sabong operators and its agents, and installation of CCTV cameras not only in betting stations but as well as in areas where the actual cockfightings are being conducted,” the panel head explained.
The panel also recommended that money transfer facilities must strictly implement the “know-your-customer” policy to ensure that minors will not be able to use their facilities for gambling purposes.
To help law enforcers in their investigation, Dela Rosa said there is a need to institutionalize the reward system for a person who witnessed and has actual knowledge of the commission of a crime.
The committee likewise seeks to further increase the penalty for obstruction of justice under Presidential Decree 1829 “to deter individuals to conceal the commission of a crime.”
According to Dela Rosa, there is also a need to pass a law mandating all local government units to include the installation of CCTV cameras in commercial establishments especially in all betting stations, gambling arenas, and gaming sites, among others as a requirement for the issuance of business permit.
The panel further wants the state-owned Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corp. to include in its regulatory framework the commission of a crime and all offenses within its premises—if the operator is found negligent and failed to cooperate in its investigation—as grounds for suspension and/or cancelation of license.
Another recommendation of the committee is for the Bureau of Internal Revenue to immediately collect the taxes due from e-sabong operators and strictly impose penalties on those who fail to pay the correct taxes.
“And last, recommend to the PNP-CIDG (Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) the immediate filing of the necessary criminal, civil, and all administrative charges on persons of interests or suspects,” Dela Rosa said.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.