Tulfo pressed Pagcor to shut down 789 e-sabong ops nationwide

Tulfo presses Pagcor to shut down remaining 789 e-sabong ops nationwide

/ 12:47 PM February 21, 2024

PHOTO: Stock image of cockfighting. STORY: Tulfo presses Pagcor to shut down remaining 789 e-sabong ops nationwide

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MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is facing renewed pressure to crack down on remaining “e-sabong” operations in the country almost two years after the online cockfighting games were suspended by then-President Rodrigo Duterte.

In a Senate hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Raffy Tulfo questioned Pagcor chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco on the steps that the corporation is taking in curbing the proliferation of online cockfighting games.


“E-sabong has been suspended since May 3, 2022, but as of now, there are still 789 active and ongoing operations. What happened to your intel funds, why can’t it be stopped yet?” Tulfo asked in a mix of Filipino and English.


READ: Duterte orders end to e-sabong

Tengco said that Pagcor has already reported the e-sabong sites to the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) that have shut down almost 2,000 of these websites.

However, Tulfo said that Pagcor should not be content in simply reporting such sites and should instead take a more active role in stopping their operations.

“No, sir, when you report, there should be pressure on the PNP, pressure on the NBI, like, ‘let’s catch this’,” Tulfo told Tengco.

“When you go to the PNP with that report, you’re there. You record it, if necessary, there are minutes of the meeting […] so that after several days, you can revisit it. Not just making reports after reports, because if it’s just reports, nothing will really happen,” he added.


READ: Despite ban, ‘e-sabong’ continues to thrive

Tengco admitted that the DICT told Pagcor that e-sabong websites would change domains after being shut down, which made it difficult to completely eradicate them.

At the same Senate hearing, Tulfo alleged that some e-sabong operations were owned by “retired generals” and urged the Pagcor CEO to seek assistance from the PNP and Malacañang to shut down the online games if safety concerns would arise.

“I’ve heard some of these [owners] are retired generals. Maybe that’s why we’re afraid. Then go to the hierarchy, to the highest ranks in the PNP. Go to Malacañang,” Tulfo told Tengco.

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In December last year, the PNP reported that it arrested a total of 1,245 individuals for engaging in e-sabong from July 1, 2022, to August 15, 2023.

Meanwhile, the PNP-Anti-Cybercrime Group said that it shut down 1,337 e-sabong websites from June to August of 2023.

TAGS: e-sabong, online cockfighting, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., Raffy Tulfo

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