Former Pampanga officials call for review of e-sabong | Inquirer Opinion

Former Pampanga officials call for review of e-sabong

/ 04:01 AM November 30, 2021

We — former Pampanga representative and vice governor Joseller “Yeng” Guiao, and former Candaba mayor Jerry Pelayo — are writing to bring the sad plight of our cabalens before the world in relation to the ills and miseries “e-sabong” has unleashed.

The onset of e-sabong has almost everyone becoming addicted to this online form of gambling. E-sabong is readily accessible to everyone, much like the illegal numbers game, but on a larger scale. Per reports, there are at least five to six betting stations per barangay here in Pampanga.


While many would be tempted to say that we just let these people enjoy this latest gambling craze since it is their money after all, we just cannot turn a blind eye to the ill-effects e-sabong or talpakan has brought us.

A nephew of one of the undersigned, Alvin Pelayo, committed suicide after he became heavily indebted due to e-sabong. Initially, he sold some of the family property to pay the P600,000 he incurred. However, he again accumulated P800,000 in debt due to his addiction to talpakan. When he could no longer pay, he was forced to take his own life. His three children now, all minors, will have to accept the fact they will grow up without a father.


A helper, Bernie Magat, who had been employed by one of the undersigned for more than four years, was caught stealing; he admitted he had resorted to such acts to bet on online sabong.

Elsewhere, farmers have been reported to sell their farm lots and carabaos, or mortgage their houses, just to pay debts incurred from their newfound addiction to e-sabong.

Why are people trooping to the e-sabong betting stations? It is an accepted fact that gambling gives these people hope of overcoming poverty overnight. But the more they pin their hopes on e-sabong to help them break out from poverty, the more they are plunged into an abyss of debt that is sometimes too deep that people are forced to take their own life.

This is worse than the illegal drug trade. Illegal drugs are not easy to get, and transactions are done discreetly. But e-sabong, being legal, is easily accessible. With the reported five to six betting stations per barangay, there are even reports of minors, such as 10-year-old kids, casting their bets.

The Duterte administration erred in granting franchises to the e-sabong operators. As people continue to suffer economically due to this pandemic, the more they would be inclined to engage in games promising an escape route out of poverty. We hope the administration will review its policy on e-sabong, eventually suspending or even rescinding the franchises it granted these operators. We cannot bear seeing more lives wasted, more families broken up, and more crimes committed by people addicted to talpakan.

[email protected]

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: e-sabong, Letters to the Editor, Pampanga officials
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Fearless views on the news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.