Senate panel wants DILG, PNP to monitor, stop activities on ‘e-sabong’ while Duterte’s directive still in effect

The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs has recommended further investigation on Charlie “Atong” Ang’s “e-sabong” (online cockfight) firm, Lucky 8 Star Quest which has been linked to the numerous disappearance of some cockfighting enthusiasts.

Senate panel led by Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa made the recommendation under Committee Report No. 646, saying the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), should further conduct investigation against the officers, personnel and employees of Lucky 8 Star Quest, Inc. including Ang, whose name has been repeatedly mentioned by witnesses during the hearing and operator of the arenas in Manila, Laguna and Batangas, where the missing persons were last seen.

“The PNP-CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) and NBI, (should) further investigate, those individuals who intentionally gave false or fabricated information to mislead law enforcement agencies in their investigation. When there is sufficient evidence, to file cases of obstruciton of justice, false testimony and other appropriate charges,” the committee report stated.

Ang has repeatedly denied any involvement in the disappearances of the cockfighting players and claimed “conspiracy” among rival operators of “e-sabong.”

Dela Rosa’s committee report also urged the Department of Interior and Local Government and the PNP to continue to monitor and stop any possible illegal and unauthorized conduct of e-sabong operations while the directive of President Duterte to halt the operations of e-sabong is still in effect.

The report also urges the PNP and NBI to to continue investigating all reported cases of missing persons in relation to e-sabong activities until they are finally resolved.

The Dela Rosa report also called on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide assistance, whether cash or otherwise, to the family and relatives of the missing “sabungeros” and help them cope with their existing situation.

In case the next administration decides to allow the operation of “e-sabong,” the panel recommended the passage of a law regulating the operations of the “e-sabong” industry and limiting it to Sundays and legal holidays, or “almost similar to that provided in Presidential Decree No. 449 or the “Cockfighting Law of 1974.”

“Such regulation will also include clear delineation of powers and functions of government agences involved in sabong (cockfighting), strict implementation of imposition of taxes to e-sabong operators and its agents, and installation of CCTV cameras not only in betting station but as well as in areas where the actual cockfighting are being conducted,” the committee report stated.