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Take down e-sabong pages, DILG asks Facebook

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 30/05/2022 Neil Jayson Servallos
Take down e-sabong pages, DILG asks Facebook © Philstar.com/File Take down e-sabong pages, DILG asks Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has asked Facebook to shut down several pages and accounts that are being used to promote illegal e-sabong operations.

DILG spokesman Jonathan Malaya said he sent a written request to Meta, Facebook’s parent company, to take down pages and links that operate to entice people to engage in e-sabong, which had been ordered suspended by President Duterte.

Malaya said he submitted seven pages, groups and accounts on Facebook identified by the Philippine National Police Anti-CyberCrime Group as catering to e-sabong operators.

“We hope that Facebook will immediately block accounts and pages devoted to online cockfight. I presume that engaging in illegal activities is a violation of FB’s standards,” Malaya said.

“We look forward to a productive cooperation with Facebook to fully implement the ban on e-sabong,” he added.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año thanked the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for directing banks and financial institutions to remove e-sabong operators from the list of merchants in their online applications.

“The BSP directive to remove e-sabong operators from the list of payees in e-wallets such as GCash and PayMaya is a welcome development. This is a swift response to the President’s order,” Año said.

On May 27, the BSP ordered banks to deal only with online gaming businesses that are authorized by the government.

The central bank also directed financial institutions to inform their clients who still have remaining funds in their e-sabong accounts to transfer the money to their e-wallets within 30 days.

The BSP said links to e-sabong accounts and e-wallets would be disabled.

“This means that even if e-sabong operators go underground, bettors cannot bet through Gcash and PayMaya anymore,” Año said.

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