Senators Ronald Dela Rosa (left) and Francis Tolentino (Photo courtesy of  Senate-PRIB)

MANILA – The Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs is seeking an explanation from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) why online cockfighting (e-sabong) continued to operate during the Holy Week.

Senator Francis Tolentino said there should be at least a semblance of respect for the Christian tradition.

"It's been part of the Filipino culture to recognize our faith-based practices, noticeably on Good Friday. But I noticed that even on Good Friday, contrary to what PAGCOR has been saying that they have been regulating e-sabong, on the very day of Good Friday three days ago, there was e-sabong," Tolentino said in his opening statement on Monday during the fourth hearing of the committee investigating missing cockfight aficionados.

"If PAGCOR is listening, I took note of the fact that several PAGCOR casinos were closed out of respect for the Good Friday commemoration," he said.

Senator Ronald dela Rosa, the committee chairperson, echoed Tolentino's sentiment, saying he was saddened to hear about it.

"You can just imagine, Biyernes Santo eh patuloy pa rin yung e-sabong. Para bang hindi na nirerespeto 'yung ating faith and 'yung ating Catholic church, parang hindi na nirerespeto 'yung ating belief (You can just imagine, it was Good Friday and the e-sabong continued. It seems like they don't respect our faith and our Catholic Church, they don't respect our belief)," Dela Rosa said.

Even politicians paused their campaign activities out of respect for the Holy Week, he added. (PNA)