Philippines: Police intensifies efforts against e-sabong operations

E-sabong operations were suspended last May.
E-sabong operations were suspended last May.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) stated it is currently working with several government agencies specializing in communications technology to identify who are behind e-sabong operations.

The Philippines.- A few weeks after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr issued an executive order for the continued suspension of e-sabong operations nationwide, the PNP issued a statement revealing it is currently working together with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to identify illegal e-sabong operations.

PNP chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said: “Because of technology, everyone can just play and place their bet. Many lives are ruined by this e-sabong and we are appealing to everyone not to patronize it because it would only make us poorer. 

“We just make the operators rich and the barangay should help the PNP to put a stop to this.”

Azurin also revealed 18 people were arrested in Cebu province under Executive Order (EO) 9 signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. last December.

17 of them were arrested in Ibo Barangay on January 13 in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu for participating in an illegal cockfight live-streamed through a mobile phone app while another suspected e-sabong operator was arrested during a raid in Barangay Bugho, San Fernando, Cebu.

Marcos signed EO No. 9 on December 28 to ensure the state’s “paramount obligation to protect public health and morals, and to promote public safety and general welfare.”

Under the resolution, live-streaming or broadcasting of live cockfights outside cockpits or cockfighting arenas or premises where cockfights are being held will remain suspended. EO 9 also suspends online/remote, or off-cockpit wagering/betting on live cockfighting matches and/or activities streamed or broadcast live, regardless of the location of the betting platform. Traditional cockfights licensed under existing laws are not affected.

Last December, families called for action after a lack of progress in investigations of the 34 disappearances connected to the e-sabong industry between April 2021 and January 2022.

In this article: