Stop e-sabong decision five years too late
Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte last May 3 ordered the Department of
the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to stop the operations of e-sabong.
According to the President, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año had made
the recommendation to do away with e-sabong, citing its social costs.
In an interview with a television network on May 4,
Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya declared that e-sabong operations
should end that day because “when the President made his announcement,
that to us is already a presidential directive because it was made in a public statement.”
Continuing to operate e-sabong would now be illegal and those who would continue
to do so could face arrest and be charged in court.
Frankly, there is nothing new here — just an infuriatingly delayed solution to
a half-a-decade-old problem. In fact, the legality (or lack of it) of
the operations of e-sabong was questioned before the Supreme Court way back in 2017.
Petition vs e-sabong
A petition for mandamus and prohibition was filed before the Supreme Court on Feb. 21,
2017 by the Liga ng Eksplosibong Pagbabago Inc. (LEPI), assailing
the propriety of online cockfighting, or e-sabong. This was docketed as GR 229688.
“Philracom allowed the proliferation of online sabong — contrary to its mandate.
The allowance of online sabong in OTBs negated the ‘growth of horseracing’
and prevented the ‘full exploitation of the sport as a source of revenue.’
Philracom did nothing to stop online sabong in the OTBs.”
The petitioner asked the Supreme Court to issue writs of mandamus and prohibition
and to order Philracom “to direct all off-track betting stations to cease
and desist from allowing the betting of online sabong in its premises.”
Accreditation for E-Sabong off-Cockpit Betting Station
- i. The OCBS Host (Applicant) must seek accreditation for each proposed
site to be established from the E-Sabong Licensing Department (ESLD).
- ii. The Applicant must submit a copy of a duly notarized Memorandum of
Agreement (MOA) or Lease Contract with the company/entity owning the
Casino, E-Games, E-Bingo Gaming Site or private space indicating the
use of the said facility as an OCBS.
- iii. The Applicant must submit a City/Municipal Resolution, i.e. RONO, or
Letter of No Objection (LONO) for the conduct of E-Sabong gaming
activities within the area of jurisdiction of the issuing LGU.
- iv. Proposed OCBS not located within an existing licensed casino, integrated
resort, E-Bingo and E-Games facilities must comply with the regulations
on location and physical building/site requirements of PAGCOR for EBingo and E-Games stations.
- v. The Applicant must comply with all the necessary documentary and
financial requirements beforePAGCOR may issue an accreditation for each