Default Thumbnail

PNP-ACG wants e-sabong penalized under PD 1602

January 30, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 287 views

THE Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) has recommended the inclusion of e-sabong to illegal gambling activities penalized under President Decree 1602 or the country’s anti-illegal gambling law, PNP chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. on Monday said.

Azurin said the PNP-ACG headed by Brigadier Gen. Joel B. Doria has also recommended sanctions against service provides that will fail to block or take down e-sabong websites.

“It should be noted that e-Sabong websites hosted outside the Philippines can only be blocked, not taken down as these sites can continue to operate via virtual private network,” he explained.

Gen. Azurin admitted that they are having a hard time in preventing e-sabong operations in the country because it’s more on technology. “Kahit maraming nate-takedown na websites, people engaged in e-sabong are well-financed, overwhelming and resources so the government should start strengthening our cyber capabilities to include cyber-security otherwise mabagal ang pagsugpo sa e-Sabong,” he said.

The PNP chief said that he has instructed all territorial police forces and concerned National Operational Support Units to go after e-sabong operators and players.

“I have directed them to operate without any let-up against e-Sabong. Paulit-ulit na lang sa Region 7 and lately meron sa Isabela. Pero parang ang concentration nila eh sa Visayas region,” he said.

Gen. Azurin said they have not yet calculated the revenues being earned daily, weekly or monthly by e-Sabong operators since they may operate in and outside the country. However, he said they are appealing to the public to stop patronizing the illegal game.

“Napakarami nang nababaon sa utang dahil dito. Yung operators must also moderate their greed too kasi kumikita sila nang napakalaki pero napakarami namang buhay ang nasisira,” he said.

Gen. Azurin made the pronouncement during a press conference at Camp Crame wherein he also announced the arrest of 28 more persons engaged in e-sabong during separate operations in Mandaluyong City, Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu and Santiago City in Isabela province.

He said that the arrests is part of their ongoing implementation of Executive Order No. 9 issued by President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ R. Marcos Jr. ordering the continued suspension of all e-Sabong activities.

Agents of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group National Capital Region arrested five men, most of them UV drivers for engaging in e-sabong at the EDSA Central Terminal in Barangay Highway Hills in Mandaluyong City last January 24.

The five yielded a mobile phone they were using to play the online game and P1,460 in cash bets. All the suspects have been charged for violation of PD 1602 in relation to Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

The PNP chief said he has asked the Mandaluyong City police chief to look into the matter closely. “Of all places naman, wag naman sa Mandaluyong kaya I have ordered the Mandaluyong City police to look into it, look kung bago ba yan,” he said in the wake of the e-Sabong arrests in the city which is home to Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ C. Abalos Jr.

Gen. Azurin said that at present, 102 platforms catering to e-sabong have been either blocked or taken down, 76 other platforms were deleted or deactivated while 39 e-sabong websites and a Facebook page have been rendered inactive and out of service.

The PNP-ACG was behind the blocking, taking down, deletion or deactivation of those e-sabong platforms.

Gen. Azurin said that representations have also been made by the PNP with the Department of Information and Communication Technology and the National Telecommunications Commission to take down five active websites that continue to host e-Sabong games.

He said that the PNP-ACG is closely monitoring at present 272 platforms comprised of 146 websites, 67 Facebook accounts, 31 Facebook Groups, 18 Facebook Pages and 10 mobile applications being used in e-sabong activities.