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ABANTE LAUDS DUTERTE ORDER TO STOP  ‘E-SABONG’ 

House Deputy Speaker and Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido “Benny” Abante Jr. welcomed news that President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a halt to “e-sabong” or online cockfighting operations, and on Tuesday lauded the directive, which he said would save Filipinos from the evils of gambling.

According to Abante: “There is incontrovertible evidence that e-sabong, like other forms of gambling, is a vice that ruins lives and even endangers lives, as online cockfighting personnel have even gone missing under suspicious circumstances.”

The lawmaker reiterated that aside from luring minors, online gambling victimizes Filipino families and even overseas Filipino workers.

“The President’s directive will save lives from the evils of gambling, and will also prevent criminal incidents related to online cockfighting operations.”

Abante had earlier filed House Resolution No. 2512, which called on PAGCOR “to immediately suspend e-sabong operations until concrete measures can be put in place to guarantee the safety of e-sabong personnel and participants.”

Based on a Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation (PNP-CIDG) report, at least eight people have already been identified to be responsible in the disappearance of more than 30 cockfighting gamers, according to Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, who recommended the move to stop e-sabong operations to the President.

Abante, an anti-gambling advocate who has repeatedly pointed out the negative effects of e-sabong, stressed that online gambling platforms pose a danger to minors and vulnerable individuals given its accessibility.

“Dahil online ito, at napakadaling pumusta dito, maraming exposed dito na very susceptible to the addictive power of gambling, such as the young, the weak, the poor, and the uneducated,” explained the legislator, who is running for reelection in Manila.

The lawmaker reiterated that aside from luring minors, online gambling victimizes Filipino families and even overseas Filipino workers.

“The negative impact of gambling is well-documented. Like illegal drugs, it can destroy lives and tear apart families.”

“The negative impact of gambling is well-documented. Like illegal drugs, it can destroy lives and tear apart families. Tulad ng sabi ko sa isang privilege speech, madami nang nabalita na mag-asawang naghiwalay dahil naadik sa talpakan o online sabong ang asawa, at may mga seaman at OFWs na nagpakamatay dahil na addict sa online sabong at naubos ang naipon,” lamented Abante.

“Whoever becomes the next president should take a more proactive stance against gambling. In other countries, they may allow gambling, but they also have anti-gambling information campaigns––and I hope the next administration will build on this move by President Duterte and take steps to educate our citizens about the perils and pitfalls of gambling.” 

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