Press Release
June 2, 2022

Upper Chamber adopts E-Sabong committee report

The Upper Chamber adopted on the last session day of the 18th Congress the Committee Report on the inquiry conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs into the cases of 34 missing individuals linked to sabong and e-sabong, which contained recommendations and findings, among others.

The committee recommended 18 administrative and 7 legislative actions to be undertaken.

After 4 separate public hearings, Dela Rosa's committee was able to establish that 7 cases involving 32 victims, out of 8 alleged abduction incidents, were connected to sabong and e-sabong operations.

The committee also noted that there was a similarity in the pattern of the abductions.

Dela Rosa said the probable motives were game-fixing called "tyope" and the "cloning" of an e-sabong website like in the case of victim Ricardo Lasco Jr, who was a master agent abducted in his house in San Pablo, Laguna.

In the 77-page Committee Report No. 646, Dela Rosa urged the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to establish a mechanism that will deny minors from gaining access to electronic gambling platforms and for money transfer facilities to strictly implement the "Know-Your-Customer" policy.

He recommended the suspension of business permits of cockpit arenas found violating ordinances for installation of CCTV cameras, collection by the Bureau of Internal Revenue of tax dues from e-sabong operators, and no let-up in investigation by the police and the National Bureau of Investigation on cases of the missing individuals.

Dela Rosa also suggested that the Department of Social Welfare and Development should extend assistance to families of missing cockfight aficionados, and the Department of Education to include in the curriculum discussions on the perils of gambling and its nature as a social ill, based on Republic Act No. 11476, otherwise known as the "GMRC and Values Education Act."

For the legislative actions, Dela Rosa recommended the possible amendments to Presidential Decree No. 449, or the "Cockfighting Law of 1974," to include strict monitoring of cockfighting activities, increase in penalty for obstruction of justice to deter concealment of a committed crime, passage of a law mandating local government units to install CCTV cameras in off-site betting stations and commercial establishments, and setting-up of a reward system for witnesses of crimes.

"Mr. (Senate) President (Vicente Sotto III), ako po ay umaasa, nagdarasal at humihiling na sana ay hindi na madagdagan at maulit pa ang pagkawala ng ating mga kababayan ng dahil lamang sa sabong, e-sabong o iba pang paraan ng sugal," Dela Rosa said on Tuesday during his sponsorship of the report.

The former top cop also likened gambling addiction to drug addiction, saying, "Ang pagkalulong sa sugal ay hindi nalalayo sa epekto ng pagkalulong sa droga at iba pang bisyo na dapat nating bigyang importansya at solusyon. Ang pagtatapos ng pagdinig sa isyung ito ay hindi nangangahulugang pagtatapos sa usapin patungkol sa e-sabong ngunit simula pa lamang sa mahabang diskuyon ng mga isyung pumapalibot dito."

The Mindanaoan senator reiterated that no amount of money from e-sabong will be more valuable than human life.

"Though e-sabong is an industry known to be raking billions of pesos and is claimed to be of help to the country and community, it will never be as significant and as treasured as compared to the lives of our fellow Filipinos. Ang buhay ng tao ay kalianma'y hindi matutumbasan ng kahit anong halaga ng salapi," Dela Rosa said.

News Latest News Feed