Despite the relaxed guidelines under the general community quarantine (GCQ), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año today reiterated that cockfighting is still not allowed to operate whether under ECQ or MECQ in light of reports reaching the department that some LGUs have allowed their operation.
“Bagamat mas maluwag po ang ating mga kautusan, bawal pa din ang sabong saan mang bahagi ng mga lugar na nasa ilalim ng GCQ or MGCQ as we continue to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” Año says.
“Ang GCQ po ay hindi para magawa po natin ang mga gusto nating gawin tulad ng pagsasabong; ito po ay para gumulong ulit ang ekonomiya. GCQ or MGCQ does not mean we are free of the virus so we must always be vigilant,” he adds.
Año points out that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has not issued any resolution allowing the operation of cockpit arenas.
“Ang sabong po ay hindi pa din po pinapayagan sa ilalim ng GCQ or MGCQ. Patuloy po ang paalala natin sa ating mga kababayan na ang mapapatunayang lumabag sa kautusan na ito ay mapaparusahan,” he says.
DILG Secretary Año reminds local government units (LGUs) to keep an eye on cockpit arenas or even communities and villages within their jurisdiction and ensure that they abide by the policies of the IATF and the DILG. “Bantayan po natin ang mga sabungan na ito at huwag natin silang payagaang magbukas dahi ito po ay labag sa batas,” he says.
Meanwhile, Año denies the claims of Globaltech Mobile Online Corp in Ilocos Region that he issued a statement allowing gaming establishments to operate under GCQ. “There’s no truth to that, we only adhere to the instructions of the IATF and made no pronouncements that gaming activities will be allowed under GCQ.”
“Hindi po tayo lilihis sa kung ano po ang ipinaiiral ng IATF at ni Presidente and this claim of Globaltech Mobile Online Corp is false,” he adds.
Año is responding to a letter sent by the said gaming company dated May 21, 2020 and addressed to PNP Region 1 Director PBGen. Rodolfo A. Azurin, Jr. stating that he “announced and confirmed in a national broadcast of PTV4 that gaming is now allowed to operate as long as the operators and participants observe the minimum health standards and protocol set by the Department of Health.”
He says that Globaltech’s letter is absurd as he has never issued such statement, emphasizing that it is clear to him that gaming activities and establishments are still not allowed to operate under current IATF resolutions.
Based on the said DTI memorandum citing business establishments or activities that are allowed to operate during the enhanced community quarantine and GCQ, Category IV including “any other amusement, leisure, gaming and tourism establishments that promote gathering” are still not permitted to operate.
He says that non-compliant gaming establishments that will insist on operating despite the directives of government agencies and the IATF will be held responsible and may be sanctioned under the law. “Huwag na pong matigas ang ulo, tayo po ay nasa krisis, sumunod po tayo sa batas.”