Philippines: 1,245 arrested over illegal online cockfighting

E-sabong operations in the Philippines were banned in May 2022.
E-sabong operations in the Philippines were banned in May 2022.

The operation ran began in July last year.

The Philippines.- The Philippine National Police (PNP) says it has arrested 1,245 people allegedly involved in online cockfighting (e-sabong). According to The Philippine News Agency, various regional police offices and national support units collaborated in an operation that ran from July 1, 2022, to August 15, 2023.

According to the PNP Crime Incident Reporting and Analysis System (CIRAS) as of August 17, 437 cases had been referred to prosecutors, while 808 cases had been forwarded to the courts for legal procedures and 322 cases had already led to convictions.

Police Regional Office 7 reported the custody of 348 suspects, with 123 cases directed to prosecutors and 225 cases under court prosecution. Police Regional Office 3 documented 328 arrests, with 170 referred to prosecutors and 158 undergoing trial.

The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested 200 people. Of these cases, 27 have been referred to prosecutors while 187 cases await court proceedings.

PNP chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. stated: “The extensive crackdown on e-sabong illegal gambling underscores our unwavering commitment to the rule of law. 

“The significant number of arrests demonstrates that the PNP remains steadfast in maintaining peace and order in our communities. We will continue to relentlessly pursue those who violate the law, ensuring that justice prevails for the betterment of society.”

Former president Rodrigo Duterte ordered the suspension of online cockfighting operations in May 2022 after 31 people related to the industry disappeared.

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