Año sees ‘moral issue’ for PRRD’s decision to suspend e-sabong

The ill-effects of addiction to online sabong was the reason why President Duterte decided to halt its operation, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said on Wednesday, May 4.

"Sobra talaga (ill effects) kapag nalulong sa e-sabong. Hahanap at hahanap ng pera, ibebenta yung bahay, lupa, kahit anong gamit (The ill effects is tremendous once you get addicted to e-sabong. You will really look for money, sell the house, property and any items),’’ Año said.

He cited as an example a mother who sold her child, and rogue police officers involved in robbery cases to support their e-sabong addictions.

“Nagkautang talaga (e-sabong addicts) tapos nagkahiwalay yung mag asawa. Hindi na nakakapagtrabaho yung iba, hindi na nakakapag aral kasi hindi mo malimit eh (e-sabong betting). Meron din mga menor de edad na tumataya at ang pinakamahirap dito yung dahil sa kakulangan ng pera, gusto makakuha ng pera ay gumagawa ng krimen (Some e-sabong addicts are in huge debt and then got separated from their spouses. Others were unable to work and study since they were preoccupied with e-sabong betting. There were minors also betting on e-sabong and the worst is when they run out of gambling money they do criminal acts to get money),’’ he added in a DzBB interview.

Año lamented that those doing criminal acts due to e-sabong addiction include the 34 missing cockfight enthusiasts who up to now are still missing.

Since the case of the missing ‘sabungeros (cockfight enthusiasts)’ is related to e-sabong and based on the DILG’s survey, Año pointed out that the President based on his personal initial inquiries validated the department’s report.

“Alam mo ang ating Pangulo matapang yan, matigas yan pero pagdating sa kapakanan ng kababayan natin napakalambot ng puso (You know our President is brave and stern but has a soft heart when it involves the welfare of our countrymen),’’ he stressed.

Based on the DILG survey, Año noted that 68 percent highly disagreed when asked if e-sabong helped in their finances with 62 percent of the respondents amenable to the suspension of e-sanong, 34 percent preferring its operation to be regulated and 4 percent wanting it to continue without restrictions.

Año also assured that the local government units (LGUs) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) members can locate the betting stations and the cockpit arenas operating e-sabong in their respective localities which the DILG have the list.

“Ito naman ay tulong tulong yung mga bawat ahensya natin. Ang PagCor (Philippine Gaming Corporation) ang siyang nagbibigay ng licenses, permit or franchise. Automatically paglabas ng memorandum galing kay ES (executive secretary) ay canceled na lahat (e-sabong) yan (This is a concerted effort of each agency. PagCor issued the licenses, permit or franchise. Automatically, this is canceled once the memorandum is issued by ES),’’ he explained.

The DILG chief warned that the police will make its rounds on e-sabong outlets and cockpit arenas where recording and streaming of e-sabong are conducted to ensure that they are closed.

He insisted that there is no ‘sophistication’ in the President’s directive of ending e-sabong since it is within his authority as Chief executive to order the closure of e-sabong operations.

“Kapag sinabing (the President) stop, stop na yan (e-sabong operation). Wala na ano mang technicalities, mga justification. So ganun lang naman kasimple (If the President says stop, then it should stop. There are no technicalities or justification required. It is as simple as that),’’ Año stressed.

Año warned that those defying the President’s order of ending e-sabong will ‘mananagot ka sa batas (will be answerable to the law) and face arrests. (Chito A. Chavez)