CIBAC Rep. Bro. Eddie Villanueva Opposes E-Sabong Licenses by Congress

March 2, 2022

Responding to suggestions that the Congress of the Philippines should be granting e-sabong licenses instead of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Citizens’ Battle against Corruption (CIBAC) Partylist Rep. Bro Eddie Villanueva reminds the public of the ill effects of institutionalized gambling.

“It makes no difference whether PAGCOR or Congress is the licensing authority for e-sabong. Internet-dispersed gambling is already wreaking havoc to society. Wherever they prosper, gambling operations galvanize criminality, poverty, and broken families—this fact is no longer just a scientific observation in other countries; the Philippines is currently its latest victim. Government leaders and agencies that empower e-gambling are culpable for the gambling-induced social and moral decay we are witnessing so much of in the news these days,” said Villanueva.

The House Deputy Speaker on Good Governance and Moral Uprightness also condemned the e-sabong-linked disappearance of at least 34 sabungeros, who allegedly got involved in unsavory e-sabong transactions.

“CIBAC has long been sounding the alarm against e-sabong. It is regretful that it seems our warnings fell on deaf ears and have now become undeniable realities. Fathers, brothers, and sons are dying senseless deaths. Mothers, wives, and children are being needlessly widowed and orphaned just because gambling moguls are being favored over the welfare of the people. How many more e-sabong-related crimes and suicides are we waiting to see before we implement an absolute ban on all e-gambling operations? Indeed, promoting love of money is an enslaving trap and a root of all kinds of evil—1 Timothy 6:9-10,” Villanueva stressed.

“A Congressional license on e-sabong will only deepen a destructive get-rich-quick culture among our people. Instead, Congress should not grant legislative franchise to e-sabong operators. It should begin taking action to eradicate the e-sabong infrastructure that is evidently inflicting a scourge of miseries to poor Filipinos who are being enticed into a psychologically and morally destructive ‘past time’ in hopes of bettering their fortune, said the CIBAC solon.

“Sadly, e-gambling delivers the opposite, fulfilling the Scriptural warning in Ephesians 5:5-6 that greed and covetousness invite God’s wrath upon a people as they violate the 10th commandment: ‘covet not your neighbor’s goods.’ James 2:10 teaches that violating one commandment of God is tantamount to violating all,” he ended.

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