DILG considering sanctions against FB e-sabong operators

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MANILA – A Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) official stated on Wednesday that their legal team is evaluating its next course of action if illegal e-sabong operations in the Facebook (FB) account Meta continue.

According to DILG Undersecretary and spokesperson Jonathan Malaya, they have sought the assistance of other concerned agencies that will compel FB to take down the pages of the illegal gambling game.

Malaya revealed in a Laging Handa briefing that it is saddening that illegal e-sabotage operations can still be watched on Facebook platforms.

E-sabong operation, he said, is a direct violation of a presidential directive that is covered by the Cockfighting Law of 1974 or Presidential Decree (PD) 449 as amended by PD 1602 where it is indicated that only the traditional face-to-face cockfighting is lawful.

He further stated that physical sabong (cockfighting) must be conducted only every Sundays, legal holidays and town fiestas.

“Lahat po ng uri ng sabong na labas sa PD 449 ay illegal (All kinds of cockfighting outside PD 449 are illegal),’’ Malaya said.

He stated that the DILG wrote a formal letter to the country’s Facebook operator, Meta, informing them of the Facebook profiles and pages of e-sabong operators who entice the public to wager on illegal gambling.

Malaya mentioned that the illegal-sabong operations in the FB accounts have yet to be removed after visiting the FB pages of the illegal cockfighting game.

“We have submitted to them the list of Facebook pages, groups, accounts, and sites encouraging people to play illegal on-line sabong but despite official communication and public appeals, Meta Platforms has ignored the request of Philippine authorities. The said accounts are still operational — in violation of the Presidential directive and of the Cockfighting Law as amended by PD 1612 — and we have not received a reply from Meta to this date,” he said in a separate statement.

“Their continued inaction on the request of this Department, the Philippine National Police, and other government agencies to take-down pages, accounts, and other links encouraging people to patronize illegal e-sabong is tantamount to tolerating illegal activity in their platform. It is not only a violation of Philippine Law but also a violation of Facebook’s own community standards,” he added.

Facebook has yet to respond to the DILG’s request, he said.

Malaya stated that as a business operating in Philippines, FB is bound by Philippine laws that they must follow.

According to the police reports, Malaya noted that there are still 12 identified e-sabong websites and eight FB pages of the illegal gambling activity.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.