Tolentino blasts PAGCOR for allowing ‘e-sabong’ games last Good Friday

Senator Francis Tolentino said there was a gross violation of a Catholic Church tradition when the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) allowed the holding of ‘e-sabong’ (cockfighting) games last Good Friday.

In today’s hybrid public hearing by the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee chaired by Senator Ronald ‘’Bato’’ dela Rosa on the ‘’illegal’’ operation of ‘e-sabong’ games and on the missing 34 cockfighting afficionados, Tolentino said Pagcor probably forgot its role as s regulator when it failed to regulate ‘e-sabong’ games last Good Friday.

Dela Rosa said today’s fourth hearing might be its last hearing before his committee would draft a report for plenary debate.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are on adjournment because of the political campaign leading to the May 9, 2022 national and local elections. They will resume regular session on May 23 and adjourn sine die on June 3.

Tolentino lamented that there should have been a semblance of respect for Philippine tradition as he noted that casinos were closed last Good Friday.

He said it would take weeks or months to really craft a legislation for the forthcoming 19th Congress to reflect, ‘’not just the needs of the times, but even our deeply rooted character as a Christian nation.’’

Tolentino said all big establishments are usually closed on Good Friday ‘’out of respect for our faith.’’

‘’We have a deeply-rooted faith based Christian character although we are still celebrating Ramadan today,’’ he added.

Dela Rosa shared Tolentino’s view, saying the country’s Christian faith was not respected.

He also said politicians’ political campaign stopped during last week’s Holy Week.

Tolentino is of the view that ‘e-sabong’ operations require a franchise given by Congress.

At present, ‘e-sabong’ licensees are operating under a license given by Pagcor.

President Duterte had rejected calls by senators to stop the multi-billion-peso ‘e-sabong’ industry despite confirmed cases of persons addicted to ‘e-sabong’ committing suicides, committing crimes because they are heavily indebted or even selling a child just to pay a debt. Even policemen addicted to ‘e-sabong’ commit crimes.