President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the suspension of online cockfighting or e-Sabong because it was destroying Filipino values.
“The recommendation of (interior) Secretary (Eduardo) Año is to do away with e-Sabong. He cited the validation report coming from all sources. It’s his recommendation and I agree with it, and it is good so e-Sabong will end by tonight o bukas. Lalabas ito bukas,” Duterte announced in a briefing recorded on May 2 and aired on May 3.
“So ginawa ni Secretary yung trabaho niya and he reported, validated ‘yung naririnig ko… May naririnig na ako loud and very clear to me — it is working against our values. ‘Yung impact sa pamilya at sa tao, ang labas, hindi na natutulog yung mga sabungero 24 hours,” he added.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), which issued the licenses starting a year ago, said it was still awaiting an official order from the Office of the Executive secretary before pulling the plug on online cockfighting betting.
E-Sabong kingpin Atong Ang told senators that this wildly popular online betting game rakes in up to P60 billion a month in wagers.
Ang claimed his Pitmasters’ Live receives P3 billion a month in profit while remitting only P400 million a month to Pagcor.
Ang is currently under probe for his alleged involvement in the disappearance of over 30 sabungeros in his cockpits.
Duterte had previously brushed off calls for the government to suspend e-Sabong because the monthly fees paid by operators were helping to shore up government revenues.
He, however, had a change of heart with the rising complaints of Filipinos, both here and abroad, losing money and minors engaged in betting with the accessibility of e-Sabong through GCash and PayMaya.