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Opinion

EDITORIAL - Crime in a place hard to reach

The Freeman
EDITORIAL - Crime in a place hard to reach

It seems e-Sabong has moved “underground”.

According to the police, while those brick-and-mortar e-Sabong betting stations are no longer in operation, betting on cockfights continues online.

"Mao na siyay usa na nakalisod kay pwede ra kang mu-open og website, dira ra ka sa kwarto nimo, so wala nay makakita, wala nay police makabadlong," Cebu City Police Office deputy city director for operations Police Lt. Col. Wilbert Parilla said in a report in this newspaper.

He added they are now asking for advice from superiors on how to proceed against this form of gambling.

The police are right to do so. Unlike in the real world where they can raid actual and physical locations and arrest individuals, the online world isn’t so easy for them to operate in, not to mention locating, identifying, and arresting suspects.

They need special expertise and personnel to be able to go after those still operating e-Sabong online.

Which must be done soon. Even as e-Sabong goes underground, it might even be more rampant now than ever. After all, the operators no longer have to worry about patrolling policemen or barangay tanods. There are no more closing schedules to keep as with physical locations. No more bickering wives going after them in the cockpits.

We are sure that even as we no longer see e-Sabong operations its ill effects on families, relationships, and communities will continue. Again we are talking about feeding an addiction to gambling, especially among individuals who don’t earn enough to provide a decent living for their families.

When someone who can’t afford to lose money loses money through gambling, the effects done end up with him but will be felt by his family and friends. Debts build up especially if he thinks he will be luckier the next time. And if not, then the next time. And the next time, and so on.

The fight to end e-Sabong has moved online, the government should make plans for this latest development. They should already know what is at stake; the moral fiber of our families and communities.

E-SABONG

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