By Billy Begas
House Deputy Speaker and Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. on Tuesday welcomed the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to halt the operation of e-sabong in the country.
“The President’s directive will save lives from the evils of gambling, and will also prevent criminal incidents related to online cockfighting operations,” Abante said.
Abante said that “there is incontrovertible evidence that e-sabong, like other forms of gambling, is a vice that ruins lives and even endangers lives, as online cockfighting personnel have even gone missing under suspicious circumstances.”
Aside from victimizing Filipino families including overseas Filipino workers, Abante added that online gambling platforms pose a danger to minors and vulnerable individuals given their accessibility.
“The negative impact of gambling is well-documented. Like illegal drugs, it can destroy lives and tear apart families. Tulad ng sabi ko sa isang privilege speech, madami nang nabalita na mag-asawang naghiwalay dahil naadik sa talpakan o online sabong ang asawa, at may mga seaman at OFWs na nagpakamatay dahil na addict sa online sabong at naubos ang naipon,” lamented Abante.
Abante stressed that the next president should take a more proactive stance against gambling.
“I hope the next administration will build on this move by President Duterte and take steps to educate our citizens about the perils and pitfalls of gambling,” the reelectionist solon added.