The president of the Philippines has said he was late in realising the negative effects of e-sabong operations.
The Philippines.- More than a month after suspending e-sabong operations in the Philippines, president Rodrigo Duterte has apologised for not banning online cockfighting earlier. He made the comments in a speech after inspecting the National Academy of Sports in Capaz, Tarlac.
Duterte said: “I realized very late and I am very sorry that it had to happen. I did not think that it is like that, I do not gamble. I do not drink anymore, only water.”
In March, 23 senators signed Resolution No. 996 calling for the suspension of e-sabong after 31 people linked to the industry disappeared. at first, Duterte defended e-sabong, arguing that it was necessary for the economy because of a lack of funds as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Duterte finally changed his mind and introduced a ban. The police have since begun a series of operations with the aim of detecting illegal operations. Authorities also asked Meta, the parent company of social media platform Facebook, to block pages promoting e-sabong operations.
A few weeks ago, a report revealed that the people who disappeared were last seen at arenas operated by e-sabong firm Lucky 8 Star Quest. The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs has called for the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate employees at the firm.