(THE PEOPLE’S NETWORK) Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Christopher “Bong” Go have called for amendments to Presidential Decree 483, advocating for harsher penalties for game-fixing in sports. These include life imprisonment, hefty fines, and perpetual bans for those involved. The Department of Justice has expressed support for these amendments, which align with the state policy prioritizing sports and sportsmanship.
In a bid to safeguard the integrity of sports, Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Christopher “Bong” Go of the Philippines have called for severe penalties for game-fixing. The senators are pushing for amendments to Presidential Decree 483, a 1974 law that criminalizes betting, game-fixing, and other fraudulent manipulations in sports contests. The present law mandates a maximum of six years imprisonment and a P2,000 fine, measures seen as inadequate by the lawmakers and other officials.
Senatorial push for harsher sanctions
During a public hearing, Senator Go, who heads the Senate Committee on Sports, proposed the notion of lifetime bans for individuals found guilty of game-fixing. This prohibition would apply to all parties involved, including players, referees, and coaches. Senator Estrada, echoing similar apprehensions about the detrimental effect of game-fixing on Philippine basketball, tabled Senate Bill 1641. This bill proposes life imprisonment and a penalty of up to P50M for offenders allied with game-fixing syndicates. It also calls for the perpetual disqualification of such individuals from participating in sports.
Backing from the Department of Justice
The Department of Justice, represented by State Counsel Ma. Lorena Calo, expressed their support for these amendments. This endorsement aligns with the state policy that prioritizes sports and sportsmanship. The drive to implement stricter penalties follows several allegations and incidents of game-fixing in the country’s sporting scene, with the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) being a notable example.
Addressing game-fixing: A national priority
As the Philippines grapples with several allegations and incidents of game-fixing in its sporting events, the call for stricter penalties is gaining momentum. By introducing severe punishments such as life imprisonment, hefty fines, and perpetual bans, the country aims to deter potential offenders and preserve the integrity of its sports. The proposed amendments to the Presidential Decree 483 are a significant stride in this direction. If enacted, they could radically transform the sports landscape of the Philippines.