Cockfighting was “still illegal” until guidelines were released, according to Eleazar.
The Joint Task Force COVID Shield (JTF COVID Shield) on Friday said that cockfighting was still illegal until guidelines were released.
Although the ban on cockfighting was already lifted in areas under MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) or other less stringent lockdowns.
JTF COVID Shield Commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar made the clarification in the middle of reports of online cockfights across the Philippines.
In a statement, Eleazar said that they had been receiving reports about “online sabong” and they would like to remind the public that “online sabong” was illegal.
Eleazar encouraged players and operators to wait for additional time for the release of Guidelines on Cockfighting Operation from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) before engaging in any cockfight activity.
READ ALSO: IATF Allows Cockfighting in Areas Under MGCQ
The Inter-Agency Task Force said in a resolution that in-person audience — online or remote betting — and live broadcast of cockfights were prohibited.
However, the Inter-Agency Task Force didn’t provide any details on how the cockfighting operations may be watched.
Eleazar said that the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force was based on the recommendation of the cockfighting industry to include their operations among those allowed to open in order to revive the economy.
The JTF COVID Shield Commander also reiterated his order to strengthen its coordination efforts and intelligence-gathering against illegal operations after local executives were arrested in Batangas in early October.
According to Eleazar, they’re also appealing to the public to report to “tupada” and “online sabong” operations in order to immediately act on them as those kinds of activities invited mass gathering which was in violation of quarantine protocols.
The JTF COVID Shield had ordered all police commanders in order to monitor more than 1,200 cockfighting arenas for possible illegal operations — including “online sabong”.