(PNA file photo) 

MANILA – Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Wednesday said local government units (LGUs) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) will be monitoring betting stations and cockpit arenas operating as e-sabong in their respective localities.

Año said the DILG will immediately implement the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to suspend the operations of e-sabong nationwide.

Ito naman ay tulong-tulong yung mga bawat ahensya natin. Ang PAGCOR (Philippine Gaming Corporation) ang siyang nagbibigay ng licenses, permit or franchise. Automatically paglabas ng memorandum galing kay ES (Executive Secretary) ay canceled na lahat (e-sabong) yan (This is a concerted effort of concerned government agencies. PAGCOR is the one that issued the licenses, permit or franchise. Automatically, this is canceled once the memorandum was issued by ES),’’ Año said in a radio interview.

He warned that the police will make their rounds of e-sabong outlets and cockpit arenas where recording and streaming of e-sabong are done to ensure that they are closed.

"Ang ating kautusan ay binaba na natin sa mga LGUs. So alam ng ating kapulisan, LGUs kung saan yung mga betting stations na yan at yung mga cockpit arena. Meron na tayong listahan (Our order is already down to the LGUs. So our police, LGUs know where those betting stations and cockpit arenas are. We already have a list)," he said.

He said violators of President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to stop the operations of e-sabong will be arrested.

He said the President's order is valid even without implementing rules and regulations (IRR), noting that the memorandum issued by the Executive Secretary will suffice.

As of March 8, 2021, six companies have been authorized by PAGCOR to do e-sabong operations starting in April 2021.

The government collected around PHP3.69 billion from the gaming operations of eight e-sabong licensees from April to December 2021, according to PAGCOR data.

From January to March 15, 2022, there was a collection of around PHP1.37 billion from the operations of seven licensees. (PNA)