ITOGON, Benguet –The municipal government ordered the operator of a cockpit in the municipality to cease and desist from the conduct of cockfighting until the enactment of the appropriate ordinance covering the same.
In his letter to Romulo Balbalin of the Benguet-Baguio cockers, Inc. based at Phase 1 Batuang, Virac, Mayor Bernard Waclin stated that the group is given 5 days from receipt of the notice to stop the operation of the cockpit in the area pending the passage of an ordinance by the municipal council regulating the operation of cockpits in the municipality and authorizing the grant of the license to operate to the said group.
Further, he claimed that upon review of the business permit granted to the group early this year, there were lacking documentary attachments to the permit such as locational clearance, building permit, among others, to support the issuance of the permit to the group to legally operate the cockpit in the municipality.
The municipal government claimed that the municipal council has yet to enact an ordinance concerning the regulation of cockfighting operations in the municipality that is why whatever applications to operate the same should not be given due course by the local government.
Earlier, concerned residents of some barangays in the municipality vehemently opposed the operation of a cockpit within the tailings pond of the Benguet Corporation (BC) because of the negative effect of cockfighting to the norms and standards of the community.
However, previous municipal officials issued a permit to operate for this group to conduct cockfighting in the area amidst the vehement opposition from the affected residents and that started the cockfighting activities in the area which are considered illegal from the start.
The affected residents lauded the decision of Mayor Waclin to suspend the operation of the cockpit and the conduct of cockfighting in the municipality, saying that the municipality needs leaders who can independently decide for the welfare of the greater majority of the populace, especially when it concerns the morals and norms of the community.
According to the residents, they will actively participate in future undertakings of the municipal government on the matter to voice out the true sentiments of the people against the conduct of cockfighting in the municipality as this is not promoting the good values of the people.
The concerned residents called on the mayor to stand firm in his decision not to allow the conduct of illegal cockfighting in the municipality to protect the hard-earned money of the people from being lost to the cockpit bets.
The residents also rallied the support of the religious groups in the municipality to enhance their information and education campaign so that people will not be tempted to go into gambling and instead maximize the use of their hard-earned money for productive activities for the welfare of their families.
Moreover, the people also asked the mining company not to allow its premises to be unscrupulously used by illegal cockpit operators to conduct cockfighting because this was considered as gambling and against the norms and values of society.