Cebu City Mayor Rama Says Cockfighting is Illegal in the City

In a press conference at the City Hall, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama stressed that cockfighting is illegal in Cebu City, Philippines, and that he had not issued any order to legalize or allow it.

This statement came after licensed cockpit owners in Cebu complained that the police scolded them for operating on weekdays despite the existence of Ordinance 2171. The ordinance amends a section of Ordinance 1147, allowing licensed cockpits to operate on any day of the week except during Independence Day, Good Friday, and Election Day. The ordinance also states that operations should not go beyond 10 PM.

Mayor Rama said that he never declared that cockfights are allowed. However, he did note that Cebuanos will find ways to hold cockfights, especially during fiestas.

Cebu City Police Officer Director Col. Ireneo Dalogdog said that the police will continue to conduct raids against illegal cockfighting in barangays until the local government can present a copy of the ordinance allowing cockfights during a fiesta. He also emphasized that they will arrest anyone involved in illegal cockfighting.

On the other hand, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia called on the police to stop raiding cockfighting events within the province that have permission from the local government. She stated that cockfighting, locally called sabong, is allowed in Cebu as long as it has the approval of the local government.

Under Presidential Decree (PD) 449 or the “Cockfighting Law of 1974,” cockfighting activities should only be done in licensed arenas and should not be held on Sundays, holidays, and during local fiestas.

Garcia said though that this has been repealed a long time ago after the Local Government Code was signed into law.