Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima expressed concern over the reported ballooning number of abducted or missing sabungeros, an issue which is seemingly not getting enough public attention.
De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, lamented that the investigation about the alarming issue appears to be “slow.”
“What’s this big mystery about missing or abducted sabungeros? Game-fixing syndicate? Is that the only theory? Why the seemingly slow pace of investigation? Meron na bang tunay na leads, persons of interest o suspects?” said De Lima in her statement posted on Twitter.
It was first reported on January 13 that four sabungeros were missing from a cockpit in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, which was followed by the disappearance of six other men at the Sta Ana. cockfighting arena.
As of this writing, the number of missing sabungeros has reportedly reached 26, with the Philippine National Police (PNP) confirming that they have already identified persons of interest.
In the program “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” aired last Feb. 6, it was narrated that one of the missing persons even managed to call a relative to say that they were being taken in the van.
The lady Senator from Bicol said that the disappearance of sabungeros should not be taken for granted, lest we want to hear reports of more persons missing. “These cases of successive disappearance of individuals engaged in gambling is a perplexing phenomenon which demands for answers and closure,” De Lima said.
“Nakakabahala ang nangyayaring ito at hindi ito pwedeng ipagkibit-balikat lang ng gobyerno. Kailangan ng masusing imbestigasyon rito, upang panagutin ang dapat managot bago pa lalong lumobo ang bilang ng mga nawawala,” she said.
“This is not something we can simply ignore. May mga pamilyang labis na nag-aalala at nangangamba para sa kanilang mga mahal sa buhay na hindi nila alam kung nasaan, anong dahilan ng pagkawala at ano ang kanilang kalagayan,” she added. (30)