'Cool down muna?': Cayetano warns of 'e-sabong' comeback

Online cockfighting or "e-sabong" operators might just let the situation "cool down" first before mounting their big comeback.

(Photo from putakputak.com)

Senatorial candidate and former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano gave this warning as he mentioned possible ways that the gambling activity could return to the mainstream.

“Sa totoo lang, magpapalamig lang ‘yan...Tapos sa Senado naman pupunta para sa franchise, o sa next administration (I truth, will just let the situation cool down...then they will seek a franchise from the Senate, or wait for the next administration)," Cayetano was quoted as saying in a statement Friday, May 6.

As such, the Taguig-Pateros solon urged faith-based and religious groups to continue teaching Filipinos about the ill effects of online gambling, saying such activities will not prosper if no one patronizes them. "Bumalik man ito ay wala nang tataya (There would be no bettors even if it's comes back)," he said.

He also said parents and teachers are “a big weapon” in the fight against online gambling.

Cayetano revealed that e-sabong franchises were “offered” to him when he was still House Speaker and that he was warned he would be removed from his position if he refused to have them approved.

“Tinanggihan ko, nilabanan natin...Kokonti lang ang talagang lumaban dyan (I refused, we fought it...there are only a few people fighting it),” he said.

Cayetano said he sometimes felt like was “a voice in the wilderness” because he “kept talking about e-sabong even when some people were telling me to stop kasi may nagagalit na daw (because somebody was getting angry).”

But he said President Duterte’s recent decision to end e-sabong solidified his position that it is harmful to the people and to the nation.

“What the government earns from these online gambling operations pales in comparison to the losses the people incur in terms of gambling debt, crime, the breakup of families, and much much more,” he said.

Cayetano said the success of the fight against e-sabong is “a lesson to us all to pray and be persistent".