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Operators Appeal Against Crackdown on Cockfights

NAGA CITY (15 December) —AFTER THE PNP provincial office here had launched a crackdown on illegal cockfighting activities on the strength of Marcos Administration Presidential Decree no. 449, operators of some 33 cockpit arenas in Camarines Sur province have made a formal appeal to police provincial director, Sr. Supt. Jonathan Viernes Ablang, “to be humanely considerate” of scheduled commercial cockfights to continue until the end of Christmas season.

A spokesman for cockpit-operators who requested anonymity said that an undetermined number of so-called “cockfight workers” who depend on the income of the 33 cockpit arenas risk losing earnings this Christmas with the crackdown on scheduled cockfight games.

With the recent crackdown, some local operators have even asked for a Temporary Restraining Order” (TRO) from the RTC under civil case no. 2010-0132.

Rogelio B. Celimen, holder of a permit to conduct cockfights and Ricardo B. Magtuto operator of the Camarines Sur Sports Arena, who was given a license by the Sanggunian Bayan of Milaor, Camarines Sur, have questioned in court the sudden police drive under PD 449.

Reportedly, Judge Jaime Contreras of the RTC Judicial Region-5 granted a 72-hour “TRO” to Celimen until the case is heard on December 15 this year.

The “TRO” was issued after Milaor Police Insp. Chito Oyardo has stopped cockfighting at the Camarines Sur Sports Arena last December 9.

Since last week, Ablang had also ordered cockfights to cease at a sports complex in  Sangay town, and in an arena in San Antonio Ogbon, Nabua town, all in Camarines Sur.

It was also reported that cockpit-operator Mike Julia and his employees  at the Nordia Sports Complex in Canaman town were also apprehended by the local police for staging cockfights last December 13.

The spokesman for the operators noted that with several laws passed on cockfighting like the PD 449, “the Philippine Cockfighting Law” enacted in 1974; the policies set by the now defunct Game Fowl Commission; the enactment of the local Government Code of 1991; provisions on the regulation of cockfighting games in the country have been conflicting with each other.

PD 449 required that the Sangguniang Bayan and the mayor issue licenses and permits for commercial cockfights to operate other than Sundays and holidays, according to the spokesman. (SONNY SALES)