The Dela Victoria's cockpit ordinance
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - October 5, 2016 - 12:00am

The country's first cockpit ordinance was enacted in Cebu City. It was authored by Lawyer Cecilio dela Victoria on July 5, 1945. It was the Cebu City Council's First Ordinance. It is ordained as Cebu City Ordinance No. 1. The cockpit ordinance is the mother of the country's local government unit legislation on regulating the country's oldest gentlemen's game. It was only decades after that a national law was passed contained under the Local Government Code of 1991 that harmonized the town and city ordinances on cockfight.

The author of the cockpit ordinance, Cecilio dela Victoria, was the son of Florencio dela Victoria of the San Nicolas District, Cebu.

He became a lawyer on February 23, 1926. Cecilio who for years served the people of Cebu City as councilor and vice mayor married Rufina "Bulang" Dolloso. The house of the couple is the house in front of the San Nicolas Elementary School along Carlock Street (named after Judge Lyman Carlock). The eldest child of the couple, Loreto became a lawyer on February 28, 1958. Loreto became fiscal of Mandaue City, Cebu and presiding judge of Branch 6, Regional Trial Court of Cebu City. He married Cristina Gahito, who for years was the guidance counselor of the Colegio de San Jose Recoletos (now USJR). The second child of Cecilio (publicly known as Ingko Celyo) named Rafael was admitted to the Bar on May 19, 1965. He married Erlinda Quijano Ylaya. Rafael served for decades as public defender under the Citizens Legal Assistance Office or CLAO now known as the Public Attorney's Office or PAO. The three other children of Councilor Cecilio were Fe, Caridad, and Teresa.

The cockpit ordinance entitled as the "An Ordinance regulating the establishment and maintenance of cockpits in the City of Cebu" is quoted. This is made to show us that our legislators of the past were excellent crafters of law. The words and style, and the intent encompassing, practicability and up to now relevant:

"Section 1. No person, corporation, or association of persons shall own, maintain or conduct any cockpit within the City of Cebu without first having obtained a license therefor, and without first having observed the following regulations:

(a) There shall be paid in advance, to the City Treasurer for every license granted, the sum of Six Thousand (P6,000) pesos per annum, payable quarterly or annually, at the option of the licensee.

(b)That the establishment, maintenance, and operation of cockpits are allowed only in these specified areas or places: Mabolo, Pardo and Mambaling.

(c)No two cockpits shall be established between a distance of less than four (4) kilometers from each other, and each cockpit must be not less than four (400) meters from any public or private schools.

(d)The holding of cockfights are allowed only on Sundays and holidays from 7:00o'clock in the morning to 6:00 0'clock in the afternoon.

(e) All persons, corporations, or associations maintaining or conducting any cockpits, and any persons directly and indirectly participating in the cockfights shall abide by and obey the following internal rules and regulations of cockfighting, viz:

Article 1. It is prohibited for any person to accept any bet without the corresponding money at his disposal to respond to the bet in case he loses.

Article 2. No person shall talk to, interfere with or in any way obstruct the acts of, the starters while releasing their respective cocks, neither shall any person talk to interfere with or any way hamper the referee while the cockfight is in progress, especially when the referee is in the act of rendering his decision on any match.

Article 3. Any violation of the provisions of the two preceding articles shall give the management of the cockpit the right to eject the person or persons responsible therefor in addition to such criminal action the management may see fit to file against them." (To be continued)

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