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Danao: Crackdown vs illegal e-sabong will be unrelenting
PHILIPPINE National Police Officer-in-Charge (PNP-OIC), Lieutenant General Vicente D. Danao Jr. yesterday said their crackdown against illegal e-sabong operators who have been defying President Duterte’s order will be unrelenting.
The PNP-OIC has ordered the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group headed by Major Gen. Eliseo DC Cruz to go after operators of clandestine e-sabong establishments who reportedly have openly disregarded the president’s directive issued last May 2.
“We will comply with the directive of the PNP-OIC, PLtGen Vicente D Danao Jr to crackdown on operators who continue to flout the e-sabong suspension order from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last May 2,” said Maj. Gen. Cruz.
The official said he has ordered all CIDG special operations units and the 17 Regional Field Units and all Provincial Field Units to continue monitoring the presence of illegal online ‘sabong’ and build cases against their operators.
“We have started monitoring different websites and social media platforms allegedly involved in this illegal activity. This is part of our case build-up against them,” Maj. Gen. Cruz said.
The official said they have already conducted all-out operations against e-sabong since last March resulting in the arrest of 41 individuals and the filing of nine criminal charges against them in various courts.
While the all-out war against e-sabong operation is being heightened, Maj. Gen. Cruz likewise emphasized that the CIDG will not fall back nor lose track of its ongoing thorough investigation on the case of the missing 34 cockfight afficionados or ‘sabungerous.’
He said that criminal charges for kidnapping and serious illegal detention have been filed by the CIDG against the suspects in the abduction and disappearance of six men led by John Claude Inonog in Sta. Ana, Manila and businessman Ricardo Lasco in San Pablo City,Laguna.
According to PNP spokesperson, Colonel Jean Fajardo, Lt. Gen. Danao has ordered an all-out campaign against illegal e-sabong sites monitored to be operating in the country, most of them online-based betting sites being run in residential areas.
Lt. Gen. Danao has instructed the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group to take down these illegal -e-sabong sites in coordination with social media sites.
The PNP leadership has also ordered all its field commanders to continue inspecting the mobile phones of their personnel to see if they have e-sabong apps. Police personnel found engaging in the addicting game will face criminal and administrative charges.
“We’ve also dismissed police, particularly the ones who were caught robbing people because of their addictions to e-sabong,” Col. Fajardo said.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) earlier said it has monitored a number of online sabong websites still running illegally despite President Duterte’s directive to stop e-Sabong games in the country.
President Duterte earlier said that the revenue collected by the government from e-sabong operations was not worth what he said was the “social damage” caused by these activities.
Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año instructed the PNP leadership to find and stop these illegal e-sabong operations reportedly being conducted in some betting sites.
The DILG chief said seven online cockfighting outfits were still on their usual business activities. The agency earlier said only physical ‘sabong’ is allowed to continue after the President’s directive.
“These illegal e-sabong outfits are operating without licenses or franchises from the national or local governments and are not remitting a single peso in revenue to the state,” DILG spokesperson, Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.
“Dahil illegal po ito, hindi n’yo po alam kung saan napupunta ang inyong pera or kung may dayaan,” he added.
The DILG urged the public to call the police if they found online sabong betting sites still operating in their areas.
President Duterte earlier this month ordered the full stoppage of e-sabong operations in the country due to its negative social impact on Filipinos and even blamed ‘evil men’ for the disappearance of the 34 ‘sabungeros’.