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Sanctions against Facebook e-sabong operators are being considered by the DILG.

MANILA, Philippines — If illicit e-sabong operations in the Facebook (FB) account Meta continue, a Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) official said on Wednesday that their legal team is considering their next steps.

DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya stated that they have requested assistance from other interested agencies in order to convince Facebook to remove the illicit gambling game’s pages.

Malaya revealed in a Laging Handa briefing that they are disappointed that unlawful e-sabong operations may still be seen on Facebook pages.

According to him, the e-sabong business is in direct violation of a presidential directive covered by the Cockfighting Law of 1974 or Presidential Decree (PD) 449 as amended by PD 1602, which states that only conventional face-to-face cockfighting is legal.

Physical sabong (cockfighting) should only be done on Sundays, legal holidays, and town fiestas, according to him.

“All types of cockfighting outside of PD 449 are banned,” Malaya said.

He added the DILG has submitted a formal letter to Meta, the country’s Facebook operator, warning them of e-sabong operators’ FB accounts and FB sites that lure the public to wager on illegal gaming.

Malaya claimed that despite visiting the FB pages of the illegal cockfighting game, the illegal-sabong operations in the FB accounts have not been erased.

“We submitted to them a list of Facebook pages, groups, accounts, and sites encouraging individuals to play unlawful online sabong, but Meta Platforms has rejected the Philippine authorities’ request despite official correspondence and public appeals.” “The aforementioned accounts are still functioning, in violation of the Presidential directive and the Cockfighting Law as revised by PD 1612,” he said in a second statement.

“Their refusal to comply with this Department’s, the Philippine National Police’s, and other government agencies’ requests to remove sites, accounts, and other links encouraging individuals to patronize illicit e-sabong amounts to allowing illegal behavior on their platform.” It’s not only against Philippine law, but it’s also against Facebook’s community standards,” he continued.

He stated that Facebook has not responded to the DILG’s request.

Malaya stated that as a business organization operating on Philippine soil, FB is governed by Philippine laws, which they must follow.

However, according to police records, there are still 12 detected e-sabong websites and eight FB pages with illicit gaming activities, according to Malaya.

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