Philippines president changes his mind and orders e-sabong ban

Philippines president changes his mind and orders e-sabong ban

President Rodrigo Duterte has changed his mind and ordered the rapid suspension of e-sabong operations.

The Philippines.- After receiving criticism from different sectors for prioritising the economy over people, President Rodrigo Duterte has finally bowed to pressure and ordered an immediate suspension of online cockfighting operations. According to local media reports, Duterte now says e-sabong, is “working against our values”.

In March, 23 senators signed Resolution No. 996 calling for a suspension of e-sabong after 31 people linked to the industry disappeared. Until now, Duterte has 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.

He had stated: “At the end of the year, if I have the billions at PHP640m a month, then I can use it to help because the pandemic has depleted my contingency plan and the intelligence fund which I gave to the police and military.”

PAGCOR chairman Andrea Domingo had previously said the regulator could raise about Php7.2bn to Php8bn if e-sabong continues to operate until the end of 2022.

A bill to tax online betting on sabong events held in legal cockpits was approved in November 2020, and in May 2021, PAGCOR issued the first licences

In this article: