Presidential candidate Senator Manny Pacquiao is not in favor of shutting online cockfighting in the country, but wants to protect children from gambling addiction.
Pacquiao has pushed for state regulation over e-sabong operations, including prohibiting children from betting on online cockfights.
“Hindi po ako pabor sa pagsara ng e-sabong,” the boxer-turned-politiko said during the KBP forum of presidential candidates on Friday..
“‘Yun pong online sabong, ‘yung sabong po sa bansa natin ay kulturang Pilipino po ‘yan. Kailangan po nating i-regulate at ma-manage nang husto ng ating gobyerno na lahat ng naglalaro ay may sapat na na kakayahan. Hindi ‘yong mga bata na pumapasok at nagsusugal diyan,” he said.
With state regulation, Pacquiao, who used to be a huge gambler, said the government must ensure efficient tax collection from the e-sabong operations.
Pacquiao also pushed for a public education campaign to prevent gambling addiction. While he respected people who want to engage in cockfighting, they must be taught discipline and financial management, he added.
Pacquiao, a world boxing icon, previously admitted having vices, including gambling and cockfighting, in the past. To save his marriage, he made a lifestyle change and gave up his vices. He turned to religion and away from his vices.