CCPO: E-sabong shifts to cellular phone

·2 min read

DESPITE the order of President Rodrigo Duterte to stop the operation of e-sabong throughout the country, the illegal gambling activity continues to exist using the cellular phones.

Lieutenant Colonel Wilbert Parilla, deputy city director for operations of the Cebu City Police Office, said they would consult their head office in Camp Crame and the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO 7) on how to handle this gambling strategy.

President Duterte ordered on May 2, 2022 the stoppage of “e-sabong” (online cockfight betting) operations as per recommendation of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Calls to stop the e-sabong operations started early this year due to reports about missing cockfight betting enthusiasts.

Some also complained that money for their household consumption would be wasted on online sabong.

According to the CCPO, online sabong appealed mostly to low-income men, such as construction workers and public utility vehicle drivers.

Parilla said that although e-sabong operators in the city had already closed their shops following the order of Duterte, they noticed that some resorted to using the cellular phones, where the gamblers can put their bets.

“We observed that there are still e-sabong but only on cellphones, they only have to open the sites. We will ask guidance first from the higher headquarters if this is part of the stoppage order, what are we going to do and what evidence can we get,” Parilla said in mixed Cebuano and English.

Parilla admitted that it would be difficult for them to catch online sabong players especially if they are inside their homes.

“Mao na ang nakalisud kay pwede raka mo-open og site naa ka sa kwarto nimo wala nay makakita. So it could be sa monitoring sa mga electronic services nga makita ang mga nag-operate ana,” Parilla said.

(This is difficult because one can open a site inside the room without being noticed. So it could be through the web monitoring that these illegal gambling operators can be seen).

He said they would probably need the help of the cybercrime unit of Philippine National Police to find out the people behind these online sabong websites.

Parilla dismissed allegations that there are also police officers involved in this illegal gambling activity.

The CCPO said that they will monitor houses where people would gather to gamble online while they have not yet received a directive from Camp Crame in connection with the online sabong over the phone. (AYB, TPT)

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