ATLEAST five senators on Tuesday said that the passage of the bill seeking to grant a franchise to an online sabong firm is already dead in the 18th Congres for lack of material time to tackle the measure.
“Franchise is dead,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III said.
Senate Comittee on Public Services Chairperson Grace Poe meanwhile said there is no time to deliberate on the measure and many of her colleagues oppose the granting of franchise for the operations of e-sabong.
“Kulang sa oras at marami ang hindi sang-ayon,” Poe stressed.
Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, who led the Senate investigation into the missing persons involved in e-sabong activities, said the latest decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to stop e-sabong operations will also affect the passage of the franchise measure.
“Lack of material time to act on the franchise bill plus the President’s stoppage order would mean demise of the e-sabong industry unless the next administration would decide to resurrect it,” Dela Rosa said.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said e-sabong franchise bills should not be fast-tracked as it needs further deliberations, specifically on its effects on society.
“Pagdating sa e-sabong franchise bills, dapat hindi ito madaliin. Dapat pag-usapan nang mabuti kung ano ba talaga ang mga epekto ng legalization ng mga iba’t-ibang uri ng sugal tulad ng e-sabong,. Wag madaliin. Mas mabuti siguro ipa-desisyon na ito sa bagong papasok na Kongreso,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senator Panfilo Lacson said even if they pass the franchise bills, President Duterte will just veto it after making the decision.