May 19, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Palace gives PNP, NBI 30 days to probe missing ‘sabungeros’

Malacañang has directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a thorough investigation on the disappearance of 31 “sabungeros” (cockfighting enthusiasts).

This was stated in a March 8 memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and addressed to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) chairperson and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Andrea Domingo.

Medialdea directed the PNP and NBI to “submit its findings to the Office of the President and the Department of Justice (DOJ) within 30 days from the issuance of this order.”

He also directed Pagcor to conduct an investigation for any violations of its e-sabong licensees under their existing terms of agreement and to ensure compliance with the security and surveillance requirements under its regulatory framework for e-sabong off-cockpit betting stations, particularly the installation of CCTV systems in e-sabong gaming sites among others.

Medialdea said the operations of e-sabong licensees not being investigated may continue.

“Unless otherwise directed, the operations of e-sabong licensees must remain unaffected, pending the result of the investigations,” the memo read.

The Palace memorandum was in response to Senate Resolution 996 which urged to suspend the operations and licenses of e-sabong (online cockfighting) until cases of the 31 sabungeros have been resolved.

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, the chairperson of the Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee, earlier said he would have stopped e-sabong had he been the president.

Dela Rosa previously campaigned for the presidency as the standard-bearer of the ruling Partido Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP-Laban) party but later withdrew.

Pagcor, for its part, thumbed down the suspension of e-sabong operations, noting that Pagcor might be held liable if it is done without a legal basis.

The Senate panel is currently conducting a series of hearings on eight incidents of abduction involving 31 people that occurred between April 2021 and January this year. The abductions were allegedly linked to the victims’ involvement in e-sabong.Several of the missing persons had attended cockpits managed by businessman and former gaming consultant Charlie “Atong” Ang.(PNA)