Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alejandro Tengco on Tuesday, Aug. 30, underscored the need to decide on the fate of "e-sabong" operations in the country after it was ordered suspended by the previous administration in May.
He said this after Quezon City 3rd district Rep. Franz Pumaren inquired about the regulations surrounding the operations of e-sabong, or the online betting on live cockfighting.
“I have had not the chance to discuss the matter with the members of the board nor have I also discussed the matter with our president, President Marcos. So, I can’t make a categorical answer as of today,” Tengco told the lawmakers during the House Committee on Appropriations hearing on the budget for PAGCOR.
“I can only say that in response to those questions that we are getting. I suppose you will have to make a decision very soon or at the soonest possible time. But, then again, we will have to consider all,” he added.
This was after Pumaren disclosed during the briefing that despite regulating the betting stations in his district in Quezon City, operators have been asking when they can continue.
“Pinapatanong po sa akin (They are making me ask) because they are paying rent right now, they are incurring expenses. We want to know kung tuloy o hindi (if it can continue or not),” he said.
Last May, the previous Duterte administration ordered all e-sabong operations to stop after a series of disappearances of individuals linked to the operations.
Tengco suggested either affirming or not affirming the decision of the previous administration.
“So, iyan po eh ang natitiyak ko rin po isa ‘yan sa kaagad na pag-aaralan ng PAGCOR at magsusumite ng isang rekomendasyon sa Pangulo ng Pilipinas (I can assure that the PAGCOR will study and submit a recommendation to the president of the Philippines),” he said.
He clarified that he wasn’t saying e -sabong will continue or not since there’s no decision yet.
“Sapagkat una, hindi pa po namin napag-uusapan at wala pa po kaming nabubuong isang desisyon at rekomendasyon na aming ipapadala sa Pangulo ng Pilipinas (Because first, we haven’t talked about it yet and we haven’t formed a decision and recommendation that we will submit to the President of the Philippines),” Tengco said.