CPPO: No other clandestine e-sabong operations in Cebu

THE Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) said it has not monitored any other e-sabong activities in the province since former President Rodrigo Duterte declared it as illegal, except the one in Minglanilla town.

Two illegal online cockfighting operators and 37 of their employees were arrested by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI 7) in Minglanilla on Friday, September 16, 2022.

Arrested along with 37 other individuals were Carlos Uy Gothong III, also known as Jun Gothong, and Sergio Santos Lu, alias Dong Dong Ong, who were tagged as owners of The Amenic N’ Cockpit in Barangay Calajo-an.

The NBI 7 agents confiscated from the suspects P2.6 million cash and P2 million worth of video equipment and computers used in online gambling.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Mark Gifter Sucalit, deputy provincial director for operations of CPPO, said in an interview with SunStar Cebu that they have not monitored similar gambling activity in the province.

He said CPPO officer-in-charge Police Colonel Elmer Lim has already ordered the different police station chiefs in Cebu to monitor any illegal gambling activity in their respective jurisdiction, especially in the interior barangays.

Sucalit said that since after the declaration of Duterte, they have been intensifying their operations against illegal gambling, such as swertres, e-sabong and games with bets involved like billiards and basketball.

"Tungod niadto, mao nang daghan ta og nadakpan pareha anang ilegal nga duwa sa billiard nga dunay pusta, basket nga naay pusta ug uban pa nga nakalapas sa PD 1602," Sucalit said.

(Because of it, we were able to apprehend many individuals for illegally betting on billiard and basketball and others who violated PD 1602.)

Presidential Decree 1602 provides tougher penalties for illegal gambling activities or violations of Philippine gambling laws.

Sucalit urged gambling enthusiasts to place their bets in cockpit arenas that legally operate to avoid arrest and paying a penalty.

He also urged the public to report to their nearest police station any gambling activities in their neighborhood that do not have a permit from the local government unit (LGU).

The CPPO will also coordinate with the NBI 7 in gathering information that would help in the police operations.

"Currently, we are coordinating with them (NBI) para at least matabangan sa pagsugpo niining ilegal nga sugal kay dili man nato makuha tanan ang information sa ground. So dako og output ang ilang operation and other operational data aron makabalo ta para kita pud mismo makatabang sa pag-conduct ug operation," Sucalit said.

(Currently, we are coordinating with them (NBI) to at least help in suppressing this illegal gambling because we can't get all the information on the ground. So the output of their operation and other operational data is a big help so we will know and we ourselves can help conduct operation.)

Meanwhile, CCPO spokesperson and lawyer Maria Theresa Macatangay said that would-be e-sabong operators can get a permit from the proper government agency in the capital when online cockfighting is already re-allowed by the national government.

Aside from that, Macatangay said gambling operators may also get a permit from the LGU where they want to operate.

"If dili na sila complied both, it may rendered illegal that's why panakpon na sila sa law enforcement agencies," said Macatangay.

(If they cannot comply both, it may be rendered illegal that's why they will be arrested by law enforcement agencies.)

She said that so far, the police have not yet monitored illegal e-sabong activity in Cebu City. (BBT, TPT)