Pro-administration Senator Francis ”Tol” Tolentino said Friday, March 11 that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) may have violated the law because they authorized the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) to issue online cockfighting or “e-sabong” franchises.
DOJ and OSG legal opinions giving PAGCOR the go-ahead for e-sabong exploitation usurped congressional legislative powers to allow agencies such as Pagcor to grant franchises, Tolentino pointed out. .
Tolentino said it violates Section 239 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), which imposes prison terms and fines on those who usurp the powers of Congress.
Due to legal opinions from the DOJ and OSG, Pagcor authorities said they issued licenses to e-sabong operators.
One of the licensees, Charlie ”Atong” Ang, had admitted to the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs chaired by Senator Ronald dela Rosa that his Lucky 8 business was grossing $1 billion to $2 billion. pesos per day or nearly 60 billion pesos per month. .
Deducting his 5% commission and other expenses, Ang said he earned about 900 million pesos a month, or about 10.8 billion pesos a year.
For Tolentino, it is clear that PAGCOR has no jurisdiction to regulate e-sabong based on Presidential Executive Order (PD) 1869 and Republic Act (RA) 9487 on Pagcor’s own charter.
While Pagcor receives a huge share of gross revenue from e-sabong operators, there are still many adverse effects of e-sabong on society, critics have pointed out.
A few of those who are addicted to e-sabong game have committed suicide or ended up in deep debt, or committed crimes.
For unknown reasons, 34 “sabongeros” (cockfighting enthusiasts) were reported missing or kidnapped.
Because some of these people had been missing since last year, Dela Rosa feared they might have been “liquidated.”
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