Police in Cebu go after operators of e-sabong; 24 suspects nabbed since Dec. 4

THE Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) has intensified its drive against e-sabong after Camp Crame ordered a crackdown on online cockfighting in the entire country.

The electronic gambling has reportedly made a comeback after then President Rodrigo Duterte ordered all e-sabong operations suspended following the disappearance 34 cockfighting enthusiasts who allegedly remain missing up to now.

On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, operatives of the Provincial Intelligence Unit of the CPPO and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested three persons who were covering an illegal cockfight outside the cockpit arena in Bugho, a mountain barangay in the southern town of San Fernando.

They identified the suspects as Dulce Arañas, Joselito Baritos Pongase and Alberto Casamiro Rosquetes, all residents of the town.

Aside from 17 fighting cocks, they recovered four monitors, one CPU (central processing unit), one digital camera, 1 video camera, one router, one media converter and assorted wires that were used to broadcast the illegal cockfight live on the internet.

According to Colonel Rommel Ochave, CPPO director, they have been monitoring cockfights that might be feeding live videos on the internet that are being used as basis for e-sabong.

“Ang ginagawa natin ngayon nag-conduct pa rin tayo ng operations against e-sabong, chine-check nga natin kung yung mga legitimate na mga cockpit arena nagagamit dyan para i-cover yung mga online sabong na yung pinalalabas ba sa mga links, mino-monitor natin. As of now, wala pa tayong nakikita bukod dyan sa San Fernando na raid wala tayong nakikitang sabongan na ginagamit dyan sa online sabong,” he said.

(What we are doing now is that we continue to conduct operations against e-sabong. We check for persons who post links of live cockfights inside legitimate cockpit arenas and use these for online cockfighting. So far, we’ve only monitored the one in San Fernando.)

He said all the intelligence operatives of the CPPO have been dispatched to go after operators of e-sabong.

Also on Tuesday, the CIDG Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City Field Units arrested 13 persons who were caught betting on cockfights on haringtalpakan.com using their cellphones.

However, they did not release the names of the suspects.

All 13 were charged with violating Section 6 of Republic Act 10, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Colonel Peter Miguel Tagtag, CIDG Central Visayas chief, said the online broadcast that is operating illegally originally operated e-sabong before it was suspended.

Last Sunday, December 4, Major Kenneth Paul Albotra, chief of the Carbon Police Station, conducted an operation against e-sabong in Barangay Ermita, Cebu City, which resulted in the arrest of eight suspects.

They were identified as Mario Ambi Mabanag, Juden Alcos Tugbong, Micheal Dingcong Ramas, John Alonso Palermo, Joel Ramas Rasonable, Cesario Eupe Palermo, Terso Baculpo Esdrilon and Esagani Gabison Membrebem.

Meanwhile, Police Regional Office Central Visayas Director Brigadier General Roderick Augustus Alba echoed Philippine National Police Chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr.’s order to step up the campaign against e-sabong in Central Visayas.

“We shall continue our massive campaign against e-sabong and all forms of illegal gambling. I directed all units to intensify their intelligence gathering on e-sabong operations and to immediately conduct anti-illegal gambling operations,” Alba said.

He said they are still trying to identify persons behind electronic gambling in Central Visayas, adding that they will go after them next. (AYB, PJB)