DILG: No live crowd, bets in cockfighting
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año yesterday clarified that only owners of game fowls, referees and organizers are allowed in cockpits.
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DILG: No live crowd, bets in cockfighting
Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - October 21, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Cockfighting aficionados should find ways to enjoy the games as live crowd and bets are prohibited.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año yesterday clarified that only owners of game fowls, referees and organizers are allowed in cockpits.

“Walang audience at walang betting,” Año said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo, adding that live broadcast of cockfighting is not allowed.

Asked how the public would enjoy the games if there is no live crowd, Año said: “Hangga’t maaari ayaw natin na papasok sa sabungan at magpupustahan doon at nagtatalsikan ang mga laway.”

Año said online cockfighting is also not allowed as it is considered illegal gambling.

The government lifted the ban on cockfighting in areas under modified general community quarantine last week.

However, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases or IATF said local government units have the final decision on whether the operation of cockpits and cockfighting can proceed in their respective localities.

Año appealed to the public for understanding, saying the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 remains a threat.

He cited a recent case in Davao City where more than 200 people who attended a cockfighting derby contracted the virus.

In Cebu City, Mayor Edgardo Labella issued a memorandum directing the city’s Gamefowl Commission to come up with guidelines on the operation of cockpits and conduct of cockfighting.

“These guidelines should be consistent with pertinent issuances of the IATF and Department of the Interior and Local Government, including the prohibition of in-person audience, online or remote betting and live broadcast or telecast of cockfights, among others,” the memorandum read.

Labella clarified that he has yet to decide on whether to allow the resumption of cockfighting even though it has been allowed by the IATF.

“It does not follow that we will agree. We still have to listen,” he said, referring to the recommendations of the Gamefowl Commission. – Mary Ruth Malinao/The Freeman

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