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Palace declines the Senate's call to suspension of online sabong permits

E-sabong operations to continue as the Office of the President orders a thorough investigation for the meantime.
The Palace declines the Senate's call for the suspension of online sabong permits
File photo: President Rodrigo Duterte

To ensure compliance with safety and surveillance requirements in gaming sites

About a month ago, we had a report that Senator Ronald dela Rosa is calling for the suspension of the online sabong operations. This is after at least 34 cockfight patrons were kidnapped in different incidents spread across Manila, Batangas, Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal.

Dela Rosa initiated this call, as Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs chair. He and Senate President Vicente Sotto III had claimed in late February that they heard Duterte say he agreed to suspend online cockfighting permits.

However, Malacañang issues a memorandum stating that operations of online sabong licensees can continue, given that they are not under investigation. The memorandum was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

It states that they can still operate even as the police and Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) conduct a probe into breaches of e-sabong agreements.

President Rodrigo Duterte's office directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a thorough probe on the case of the missing sabungeros. They were ordered to submit their findings to the OP and Department of Justice within 30 days.

On the other hand, the Office of the President (OP) ordered PAGCOR to investigate any violation of its e-sabong licensees and to make sure these e-sabong operators are complying with security and surveillance requirements, "particularly the installation of CCTV systems in e-sabong gaming sites".

PAGCOR chairperson Andrea Domingo senators that suspending the online gambling operations would have budgetary and economic implications as the industry has earned at least PHP 640 million monthly since January.

Allegedly, there are seven e-sabong operators licensed by Pagcor: Belvedere Vista Corporation, Lucky 8 Star Quest, Visayas Cockers Club, Jade Entertainment, and Gaming Technologies, Newin Cockers Alliance Gaming Corporation, Philippine Cockfighting International, and Golden Buzzer.

Medialdea said that the operations of e-sabong licensees shall remain unaffected, pending the result of the above investigations, unless otherwise directed.

What do you think?

Sources: Rappler, CNN

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