CIBAC Party-list bucks franchise grants for ‘e-sabong’

CIBAC Party-list bucks franchise grants for ‘e-sabong’

The Citizens’ Battle against Corruption (CIBAC) Party-list opposes the grant of legislative franchises to e-sabong or online cockfighting.

(CIBAC) Party-list Rep. Bro Eddie Villanueva said taking away the authority from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to grant licenses to operate e-sabong and transfer it to Congress instead would make no difference, considering that internet-dispersed gambling is already “wreaking havoc” to society.

“Wherever they prosper, gambling operations galvanize criminality, poverty, and broken families — this fact is no longer just a scientific observation in other countries; the Philippines is currently its latest victim,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva pointed out that government leaders and agencies that empower e-gambling are “culpable for the gambling-induced social and moral decay” in the country.

He said a congressional license on e-sabong will only deepen a corruptive and destructive get-rich-quick culture among our people. “Instead, Congress should not grant legislative franchise to e-sabong operators. It should begin taking action to eradicate the e-sabong infrastructure that is evidently inflicting a scourge of miseries among poor Filipinos who are being enticed into a psychologically and morally destructive ‘past time’ in hopes of bettering their fortune,” he said.

Villanueva also condemned the e-sabong-linked disappearance of at least 31 cockfighting enthusiasts, who allegedly got involved in “unsavory” e-sabong deals.

“CIBAC has long been sounding the alarm against e-sabong. It is regretful that our warnings fell on deaf ears and have now become undeniable realities. Fathers, brothers, and sons are dying senseless deaths. Mothers, wives, and children are being needlessly widowed and orphaned because gambling moguls are being favored over the welfare of the people,” he stressed.

Reports have it that around 31 persons were reported missing by their relatives and family in the past months after they visited cockpit arenas in Manila and Southern Luzon. The Senate has initiated its inquiry into the matter.

A good number of Filipino leaders have asked President Duterte and Pagcor to suspend e-sabong operation in the country pending the resolution of complaints filed by relatives and families of persons linked to online cockfighting operations.