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Solon asks PAGCOR to crack down remaining e-sabong ops in PH

February 23, 2024 Philippines Crime & Legal

Nearly two years after President Rodrigo Duterte outlawed online cockfighting games, there is growing pressure on the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to take tough measures against the nation’s remaining “e-sabong” enterprises.

Sen. Raffy Tulfo questioned Alejandro Tengco, chairman and CEO of Pagcor, about the company’s initiatives to stop the proliferation of online cockfighting games during a Senate session.

Tulfo claimed that 789 actions are still happening on even after e-sabong was suspended on May 3, 2022. He questioned the value of the intelligence funding provided by Pagcor, emphasizing the need for more proactive steps to stop these kinds of operations.

Tengco continued, “Pagcor reported the e-sabong sites to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), resulting in the suspension of almost 2,000 websites.” However, Tulfo stated that merely reporting is insufficient and requested that Pagcor put strong pressure on law enforcement to take action against these websites.

Tengco said that it is challenging to completely erase e-sabong websites since they often change their domain names after being taken down.

Tulfo claimed in the Senate hearing that some e-sabong businesses were owned by retired generals. He advised Pagcor to contact Malacañang and the PNP for help in addressing safety concerns related to these online games.

In December of last year, the PNP declared that 1,245 persons had been detained for electronic sabotage between July 1, 2022, and August 15, 2023. Furthermore, during June and August 2023, the PNP-Anti-Cybercrime Group removed 1,337 e-sabotage websites.

The Senate hearing is a reflection of continuous efforts to resolve the problems caused by e-sabong’s continued operation in spite of being prohibited; proposals for more proactive and coordinated actions have been made by authorized authorities.

Original story by: Inquirer.net

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