End to E-Sabong

End to E-Sabong

Jose Rizal and cockfighting in Spanish Philippines. (From a painting by Leonardo Tayao Cruz)

The recommendation of Secretary (Eduardo) Año is to do away with e-sabong and he cited the validation report coming from all sources. So it’s his recommendation and I agree with it, it’s good, so e-sabong will end.
— Outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte

A DAY before Election Day on May 9 is Mother’s Day—the second Sunday of May.
It is one special occasion, indeed, because it honors the most important woman in our lives—our mom.

No wonder chocolates and flowers overflow on Mother’s Day and sweet treats, such as cakes, are flying off the racks of bakeshops.

But these gifts are not only meant for our moms. They, too, are given to our wives and even sisters, cousins, and nieces, who all have given birth to their siblings and are now considered moms.

To my mom, who passed away last year, and my sister and my wife, I send all my love on this special day.

FINALLY, the end of ‘e-sabong’.

Actually, this has long been overdue and should have ended earlier if not for President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘delirious’ desire to generate revenue from this electronic form of gambling through online cockfighting.

The truth is I’ve witnessed e-sabong’s adverse impact on one of my delivery personnel who nearly fell victim to this vicious vice and got addicted to the ‘game’. Fortunately, he was shaken in time before he got hooked and lost all his earnings and savings.

Notably, the archaic bloodbath of pitting fighting cocks against each other has continued to wane in recent years. Cockfights are banned and illegal in most countries and I believe that the Philippines is the only remaining country where it is appreciated and allowed to proliferate.

This is to the chagrin of animal lovers and those groups that advocate respect for all living creatures like the organization known as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

And President Duterte’s decision to order the immediate termination of e-sabong across the archipelago has been commended, most especially by families who have suffered dysfunction because their fathers and some mothers had got hooked on e-sabong.

But let me say, however, that I am not totally against gambling. I know and have played most of them—card games from tong-its to pusoy and even baccarat and blackjack, and likewise horseracing, jai alai, cockfighting and others.

I even worked for a clandestine casino at the posh Wells Fargo nightspot in Pasay City and other gaming rooms put up by a well-known gambling lord (Ambet Figueroa) in the late 70s to the early 80s.

I would say I won in all of them as I had beginner’s luck and always stopped after beginning and winning the game.

But going back to e-sabong, we should realize how it has impacted our Filipino core values.

There is a long-standing mythical joke that the Spanish conquistador Ferdinand Magellan was slain in the battle of Mactan because he disrupted a cockfight and angered the local chieftain Lapy-Lapu.

We must be reminded that nothing can be had from gambling and e-sabong is such a deal.

Moreover, cockfighting is savage—sharp razors attached to the roosters’ feet tear through flesh and bone, causing agonizing and fatal injuries, and the birds, who are purposefully bred to fight, are forced to fight no matter how wounded or tired they become, and they are often drugged into submission.

These are a few of the many reasons why cockfighting is illegal in most of the world. The fact is that the Philippines should now follow suit in banning not just e-sabong but all sabong.

FOR your comments or suggestions, complaints or requests, just send a message through my email filespolice@yahoo.com.ph or text me at cellphone numbers 09054292382 for Globe subscribers and 09391252568 for Smart. Thank you and Mabuhay!


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