Puerto Princesa City councilor Victor Oliveros wants to put an end to e-sabong (online cockfighting) businesses operating in the city, stating that the new platform is prone to abuse and has no proof of giving support to charities through its activities.
He added that in previous sessions, he did not manifest objections to endorsements by local e-sabong businesses requesting for franchises or permits to operate as he personally believes that e-sabong should not be allowed to operate in Puerto Princesa, since it no longer adheres to traditional Filipino values and culture.
“Ako, personally, nag-manifest ako ng reservation[s], dahil nga ‘yong other sectors na nagbe-benefit [dapat] dito, medyo hindi na. Pag may sabong na ganoon, nakakatulong ito sa charity. Hindi ko lang alam kung ‘yong e-sabong ay component ng income o revenue na napupunta sa charity, hindi natin alam ‘yon,” he told Palawan News in an interview.
He also cited problems with the easy accessibility to e-sabong outlets, wherein minors can also participate in betting as long as they have a smartphone. He added that although local e-sabong business venturers are also in need of income due to the economic hardships brought by the pandemic, the online nature of the game is prone to abuse rather than benefitting relevant sectors.
“Gusto lang natin na matulungan ‘yong proponent na makaangat sa investment. Hindi naman siya sinasabing ihinto. But as a whole, in-allow ng national government ‘yong e-sabong. In my mind, hindi na siya nagko-conform sa ating customs and traditions. Nawala ‘yong ibang sana nagbebenepisyo out of sabong,” he added.
Oliveros proposed that the council should pass a resolution requesting President Rodrigo Duterte, the House of Representatives, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), but the resolution was referred to the council’s Committee on Games.
Oliveros added that he also opposes e-sabong operations because of a recent spate of missing sabungeros (cockfighters) in various parts of the country. National news outlets have reported that more than 30 sabungeros are missing in what appear to be unresolved cases of abduction related to e-sabong. Senators last week urged PAGCOR last week to suspend existing e-sabong licenses until these cases were resolved.
“That’s why sabi ko, where is it leading to? Ayan, ang nangyari sa Manila, I cannot discuss it kung anuman ‘yon, kasi para sa akin puro haka-haka, but you can see the news,” he added.