Authorities take down 7 ‘e-sabong’ websites, says DILG
MANILA, Philippines—Seven “e-sabong’ (online cockfighting) websites have been taken down as the government intensifies its crackdown against the now illegal activity, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said Wednesday.
Malaya said the anti-cybercrime group of the Philippine National Police is now investigating the administrators of the seven websites for the filing of complaints.
“These criminals thrive on the anonymity of the internet and they are taking advantage of this,” Malaya, in a statement, said of the administrators of the websites.
Aside from the seven websites, Malaya said the PNP anti-cybercrime group is also monitoring 12 websites and eight Facebook groups and pages that are promoting “e-sabong.”
“Of the 12 websites, only two were registered in the Philippines while the rest are located in other countries,” Malaya noted.
Malaya said the agency discovered several Facebook pages and groups promoting “e-sabong” with access and registration links.
“Once you open the link, you will be able to register and create an account to log-in… It’s very easy to register so even minors are able to access the sites freely,” he explained.
Malaya said the DILG is coordinating with the Department of Information and Communication Technology to shut down the 12 websites, while they also sought the assistance of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, to suspend the said pages and groups.
To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered an end to “e-sabong” operations following the recommendation of Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
Before it was stopped, “e-sabong” was contributing about P640 million a month to government coffers through fees collected by the state-run regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
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