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Bohol Cockpit Owners and Operators on Fighting Mode
« on: January 05, 2008, 10:15:11 AM »
By Rey Anthony Chiu
Bohol - PIA

Granting that courts would deny the injunction they are seeking, Bohol cockpit owners and operators still have a fight, and it its via the Local Government Code, says a lawyer who asked not to be named.

Reports last week detail that the Association of Bohol Cockpit Operators (ABCO) is bent on petitioning the Regional Trial Courts for injunction against the ultimatum banning cockfight on days other than Sundays.

The ultimatum was pegged January 1 this year.

Bohol Governor Erico Aumentado, through Executive Order 02-A-01 issued the ultimatum against cockpit operators holding cockfights on weekdays and Saturdays. He cited Presidential Decree 449 as its basis.

Section 5, (d) of PD 449, or the Cockfighting Law of 1974 mandates that licensed cockpits can only operate cockfights during Sundays and legal holidays and during local fiestas for not more than three days.

Questioning the old law however, the lawyer source said that the devolution of powers to the local government units hold the key to a town’s allowing a cockfight operations.

What the governor and PSSupt Ingking is looking at, is an old law that has apparently been repealed by the new Local Government Code or Republic Act 7160, he said.

He hinted that the new law has devolved upon local governments the power and authority to create their own sources of revenue and to levy taxes, fees, and charges among others, including the regulation of cockfights.

“It would only need an ordinance by the town council and now the town can actually regulate the operation of cockfights on any day, and at times coinciding with the town market days which may fall on any day of the week,” he said.

Pointing to the LGU’s taxation power based on the operative principles of decentralization, and citing similar provision on the LGU’s proprietary capacity, he said the ordinance and the corresponding business permits issued by the mayor’s office would be binding.

Asked if such an ordinance is admissible in court, he again pointed another provision of the Code.

He said, the general welfare provisions of the Code is always liberally interpreted to give more powers to local government units in accelerating economic development and upgrading the quality of life for the people in the community.

Moreover, he quoted further that “any tax ordinance or revenue measure shall be construed strictly against the local government unit enacting it, and liberally in favor of the taxpayer.”

The LGC, he said has one repealing provision and any or part or parts of laws which are inconsistent with any of the provisions of the Code are hereby repealed or modified accordingly. 

Over this development, ABCO insist that if the police crackdown on their operations would continue despite the court ruling on their injunction, police authorities would be criminally and administratively liable.


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