Negros mayor in trouble over illegal cockfighting

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Mayor Agustin Bascon of Himamaylan City in Negros Occidental has been charged before the Sandiganbayan for allegedly allowing the holding of cockfights by an unlicensed operator and without the approval of the police.

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The Office of the Ombudsman filed the case for violation of Section 5(D) of Presidential Decree 449 (Cockfighting Law of 1974) as amended by PD 1602, which prescribes stiffer penalties for illegal gambling.

In the charge sheet, Assistant Special Prosecutor II Generoso Severo Plazo alleged that Bascon “did then and there, willfully, unlawfully, criminally allow the holding of a cockfight every Sunday from November 11, 2012 to January 4, 2013 at Sitio Calansi, Barangay Libacao, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental by approving the letter-request for a permit to hold pabulang or cockfighting of one Pablito Villaruel, who is not licensed to operate a cockpit or to hold cockfighting in the said city and without the approval of the Chief of the Philippine National Police or the latter’s authorized representative…”

The Ombudsman recommended P10,000 bail for Bascon’s temporary liberty.

Under PD 449, city and town mayors are authorized to issue licenses to operate and maintain cockpits subject to the approval of the police chief or his representative.

REINA TOLENTINO

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