Administration Senator Francis Tolentino is claiming the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has no authority to issue e-Sabong or online cockfighting licenses.
Tolentino, a lawyer said Republic Act No. 9487 or the Pagcor Charter does not provide the casino monoply and regulator any authority to o issue any license to e-sabong operators to operate—including PAGCOR’s regulatory framework for online cockfights and the supposed creation of an e-sabong licensing department.
“Saan nag-ugat ang karapatan ninyo, ang authority na mag issue ng prangkisa sa e-sabong? Nagke-claim kayo na may delegated authority na wala naman po sa Republic Act No. 9487,” said Tolentino during Thursday’s inquiry of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.
Pagcor acting assistant vice president for e-Sabong Diane Erica Jogno admitted in her Senate testimony the grant of e-Sabong licenses were only based on separate legal opinions issued by Solicitor General Jose Calida in May 2018,Justice Sece Secretary Menardo Guevarra in January 2021 respectively, and a memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea
Tolentino said PAGCOR’s ‘broad interpretation’ of RA 9487 through the separate opinions issued by DOJ and SolGen has enabled a ‘gross misrepresentation’ over their questionable authority on regulating e-sabong.
“Sila na po yung nag extend ng kapangyarihan nila, sila pa po ang nagbigay sa sarili nila ng kapangyarihang i-interpret yung kapangyarihang iginawad nila sa kanilang sarili,” the senator added.
Section 10 of RA 9487 specifically states that Pagcor’s authority shall not extend licenses to other games like cockfighting.
Pagcor has issued seven licenses from April to October 2021 – Belvedere Vista Corp., Lucky 8 Star Quest Inc., Visayas Cockers Club Inc., Jade Entertainment And Gaming Technologies, Inc., Newin Cockers Alliance Gaming Corp., Philippine Cockfighting International Inc., and Golden Buzzer, Inc.
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