Central Visayas cops nab 283 in intensified drive vs 'guerrilla operations' of online sabong

A total of 283 people were arrested in Central Visayas in just a period of six days as the regional police have stepped up the campaign against the illegal operations of online sabong.

Police Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba, director of the Police Regional Office 7, said they also intensified the intelligence-gathering and information sharing with the local communities to run after the bettors and those who operate the e-sabong.

Police Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba, director, Police Regional Office 7. (photo: PRO7)

"The operation of online sabong is already illegal because of a presidential order early this year. I am warning those who are continuously defying this order to stop, otherwise, we will relentlessly run after you," said Alba.

Alba said the aggressive campaign against e-sabong in Central Visayas was based on the instruction of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin amid reports of the proliferation of the guerrilla operations of online sabong in various parts of the country.

Based on PNP reports, the illegal online sabong also caters to the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Alba said almost P156,000 bets were also seized during the six-day operation, or from Dec. 5 to 10.

The Cebu City police made the most number of arrest with 106, followed by the Cebu Police Provincial Office with 42 and the regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) with 40.

"We have already filed 109 cases in connection with our aggressive drive against online sabong," said Alba.

Former president Rodrigo Duterte ordered the termination of online sabong operation due to public pressure over the case of 34 missing sabungeros, as well as the reports that a number of bettors, including policemen, were buried in debts and were even forced to engage in illegal activities to sustain their addiction to online sabong.