Law & Legalities of Cockfighting in the Philippines

Law & Legalities of Cockfighting in the Philippines

With regards to sports, Filipinos can't survive without basketball and, obviously, cockfighting. Albeit the last option involves a greater amount of betting than sport, many individuals are likewise engaged in rearing gamefowls as both a diversion and a business. However, the unavoidable issue that is asked by many individuals, particularly outsiders, is "Is cockfighting legitimate in the Philippines?" We will talk about the response in this article. Cockfighting in the Philippines is both legal and illegal depending on where the game is held and to what level. The Cockfighting Law of 1974 under former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, regulates the game in the whole country and since then it has never been amended.

The following is clearly stated:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution, do hereby decree and order to be part of the laws of the land, the following:
Sec 1. Title. This Decree shall be known as the “Cockfighting Law of 1974”.
Section 2. Scope. This law shall govern the establishment, operation, maintenance, and ownership of cockpits.
Section 3. Declaration of Policy. It is hereby declared a policy of the government to ensure within the framework of the New Society maximum development and promotion of wholesome recreation and amusement to bring about the following goals:

Amusement to bring about the following goals:

(a) To effectively control and regulate cockfighting towards its establishment as a national recreation, relaxation, and source of entertainment;
(b) To provide additional revenue for our tourism program; and
(c) To remove and prevent excessive and unreasonable business operation and profit considerations in the management of cockpits and, instead preserve Philippine customs and traditions and thereby enhance our national identity.

Section 4. Definition of Terms

As used in this law, the following terms shall be understood, applied, and construed as follows:
(a) Cockfighting shall embrace and mean the commonly known game or term “cockfighting derby, pintakasi or tupada”, or its equivalent terms in different Philippine localities.
(b) Zoning Law or Ordinance. Either both national or local city or municipal legislation logically arranges, prescribes, defines, and apportions a given political subdivision into specific land uses as a present and future projection of needs warrant.
(c) Bet Taker of Promoter. A person who calls and takes care of bets from owners of both gamecocks and those of other bettors before he orders the commencement of the cockfight and thereafter distributes won bets to the winners after deducting a certain commission.
(d) Gaffer (Taga Tari). A person who is knowledgeable in the art of arming fighting cocks with gaffs or gaffs on either or both legs.
(e) Referee (Sentenciador) A person who watches and oversees the proper gaffing of fighting cocks, determines the physical condition of fighting cocks while cockfighting is in progress, the injuries sustained by the cocks and their capability to continue fighting, and decides and make known his decision by work or gestures and the result of the cockfight by announcing the winner or declaring a tie or no contest game.
(f) Bettor (llamador/lyamador/Kristo). A person who participates in cockfights and with the use of money or other things of value, bets with other bettors or through the bet taker or promoter and wins or loses his bet depending upon the result of the cockfight as announced by the Referee or Sentenciador. He may be the owner of the fighting cock.

Why is cockfighting very popular in the Philippines?

In 1974, the Cockfighting Law was passed. It acknowledged sabong as “a popular, traditional, and customary form of recreation and entertainment among Filipinos” that should be “a vehicle for the preservation and perpetuation of native Filipino heritage and, thereby, enhance our national identity.”
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