Duterte sorry for realizing ‘very late’ e-sabong’s negative impact

Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to the public on Tuesday for realizing “very late” the negative impact of e-sabong on Filipino families.,Duterte admitted he was initially reluctant to stop the operations of online cockfighting licensees since the betting platform provided the government with P3.7 billion in tax collections from April to December 2021, based on data from the Philippine Gaming Corporation.,“I realized [its negative impact] very late,” he said in a speech after inspecting the National Academy of Sports in Capaz, Tarlac. “I am very sorry that it had to happen.”,The 77-year-old Chief Executive, who will likely be remembered for his anti-criminality agenda, lamented that e-sabong “inflicts pain on our society” since it destroys harmony among Filipino families.,He said individuals who were fond of gambling tend to use the money of their family members so they could join betting platforms like online cockfighting.,“There is a disorder. It creates disorder,” Duterte said.,E-sabong was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year after at least 34 players have gone missing, which the police said may be linked to game-fixing.,Senators called on Duterte to halt the operations of online sabong licensees but he rejected their call, saying the government needs the revenues generated through the betting platform, especially amid the health crisis.,The President changed his tune months later and ordered the interior department to stop the operations of e-sabong after the agency recommended that it was “working against our values.”,Seven illegal e-sabong websites have since been taken down by authorities.,E-sabong flourished during the pandemic since it catered to thousands of bettors who need not go to gaming arenas amid the threat of coronavirus.