Senate panel wants further probe of Atong Ang’s e-sabong firm over missing ‘sabungeros’

Senate panel wants further probe of Atong Ang’s e-sabong firm over missing ‘sabungeros’

Fourth hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs led by Chairman Bato Dela Rosa on the rising number of missing individuals allegedly involved in sabong and e-sabong. Senate PRIB photo

MANILA, Philippines — A Senate panel has wrapped up its inquiry on e-sabong (online cockfighting) operations, but it wanted further investigation of Atong Ang’s firm over the case of “missing sabungeros.”

Under Committee Report No. 646, the Senate public order committee, chaired by Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, listed its recommendations after it conducted hearings into the cases of cockfighting enthusiasts who suddenly disappeared.

Among its recommendations was for the authorities to further look into officers and staff of Lucky 8 Star Quest Inc., an e-sabong company operated and owned by Ang. The Senate panel also said Ang should be included in the deeper probe.

“For the PNP-CIDG (Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) and NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), to conduct further investigation against the officers, personnel, and employees of Lucky 8 Star Quest, Inc. including, Mr. Charlie ‘Atong’ Ang, whose name has been repeatedly mentioned by witnesses during the hearing and operator of the arenas in Manila, Laguna, and Batangas, where the missing persons were last seen,” one of the committee’s recommendations read.

Ang, who faced the Senate panel in several hearings, has repeatedly denied involvement in the disappearance of cockfighting players.

READ: Facing Senate, Atong Ang cries ‘conspiracy’ in ‘e-sabong’ abductions

The committee report was filed May 24 and posted on the Senate website on Thursday.

READ: Atong Ang’s name surfaces during Senate probe into missing ‘sabungeros’

The Senate panel, in its report, also recommended to the PNP and the NBI the continued investigation of “all reported cases of missing persons in relation to e-sabong activities until they are finally resolved.”

“For the PNP, to ensure that laws enacted to regulate gambling activities are enforced and complied with by all concerned entities,” the report also stated.

“For the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and PNP, to continue to monitor and stop any possible illegal and unauthorized conduct of e-sabong operations while the directive of President Duterte to halt the operations of e- sabong is still in effect,” it added.

Duterte ordered a stop to e-sabong operations early this month, citing its social cost.

READ: Duterte orders end to e-sabong

This, after the DILG conducted a survey, which showed that 62 percent of 8,000 respondents favored closing down e-sabong operations.

READ: Continuing e-sabong operations now ‘illegal,’ DILG warns

Duterte ordered the conduct of the survey after he initially rejected the call of senators to suspend e-sabong until the disappearance of over 30 cockfight enthusiasts is resolved.

He had cited then the potential revenue loss if e-sabong operations are suspended.

KGA

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