Pacquiao: End of e-sabong must not stop probe on missing ‘sabungeros’

President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to end e-sabong operations in the country must not stop the investigation into the disappearance of at least 38 cockfighting enthusiasts, according to PROMDI Party standard-bearer Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, in a press statement, voiced support for Duterte’s decision to stop e-sabong although he wants the probe to continue.

“Prerogative of the executive to issue an EO (executive order) na ipahinto iyong e-sabong. Karapatan niya iyon kasi trabaho niya iyon, respetuhin na lang muna natin,” Pacquiao replied when asked to comment on Duterte’s decision. 

(It is the prerogative of the executive to issue an EO to stop E-sabong. That is his right, because that is his job, we must respect it.)

However, Pacquiao said there must be a resolution to the mystery behind the apparent abduction of people with links to e-sabong operations.

“Hindi pwedeng ipa-stop iyong investigation kasi may nawawala. Importante ituloy iyong investigation at malaman natin kung saan iyong mga tao,” he said.

(The investigation should not stop because of the missing men, it is important for the probe to continue so that we will know where they are.)

Duterte is convinced that the missing men have been killed and their bodies disposed of by those behind their abduction.

In a speech during a recent event in Leyte, Duterte said he agrees with the police angle that the sabungeros have been liquidated because of game-fixing.

The victims were also linked to e-sabong operations.

Pacquiao has not raised an active objection against e-sabong although he is against gambling.

In presidential debates he attended, the country’s boxing icon said e-sabong may be stopped if all other forms of legalized gambling like state-operated casinos will cease operations on orders of the government.

He said rules of fairness and equity must apply to all government transactions.

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