Press Release
May 27, 2022

Tolentino lauds BSP over removal of online sabong feature from e-wallet apps

MANILA - Senator Francis 'Tol' N. Tolentino on Friday lauded the decision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to remove all e-sabong operators from the list of merchants currently listed on existing electronic wallet (e-wallet) applications.

"I thank the leadership of the Bangko Sentral for this immediate action and for upholding Filipino values and traditions. E-sabong has somehow led to the deterioration of Filipino values and traditions especially during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Tolentino.

?Tolentino noted that unlike the traditional cockfighting which has cultural significance and dates back during the pre-colonial period, the e-sabong business has led to various 'deleterious effects' in the society.

During one of the Senate hearings conducted last April, Tolentino got furious and ?took a swipe at the leadership of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) for allowing the operation of online sabong to continue even during traditional religious holidays like Good Friday--a 'gross violation' of Christian faith according to the senator.

Earlier this month, Tolentino asked the BSP issue a circular to all concerned electronic money issuers (EMIs) to remove any and all e-sabong features from their platforms, whether on their mobile application interface or otherwise, amid a parallel probe conducted by the Senate in connection with the alleged mysterious disappearances of more than three dozen cockfighting aficionados participating in virtual cockfighting tournaments.

?Tolentino together with Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs chair Ronald 'Bato' dela Rosa earlier this year spearheaded a series of parallel inquiry over the missing 'sabongeros,' in which the Senate investigation bared various loopholes in the operations of online sabong.

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