Malacañang on Wednesday ordered an investigation into the disappearances of several e-sabong cockfighters following the Senate's call to suspend all activities related to the sport.
The Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation were tasked to investigate the disappearances of the sabungeros, Communications Sec. Martin Andanar said.
"The PNP and the NBI are further directed to submit their findings to the Office of the President and the Department of Justice within 30 days from the issuance of the order," Andanar said in a statement.
A Senate hearing earlier this month revealed that there were six incidents involving 31 individuals who were reported missing by their relatives after they visited cockpit arenas in Manila and Southern Luzon.
Law enforcement agencies said they have difficulty resolving the cases due to lack or absence of material evidence like CCTV footage, and they expressed concern that there might be more e-sabong-related abductions.
Malacañang however rejected the Senate's call for a suspension of all e-sabong activities and instead directed the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to investigate for any violation of its e-sabong licensees.
The Palace also ordered PAGCOR to ensure that e-sabong cockpits are compliant with security and surveillance requirements.
"The operations of e-sabong licensees shall remain unaffected, pending the result of the above investigations," Andanar said.