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Official steps down, wrong judgment call on Matina Gallera derby cited

An investigation into the six-cock derby in New Matina Gallera last month found no violations in the regulations.

However, Mayor Sara Duterte said the division chief of the Business Permit and Licensing Division had the authority to stop the event, taking the cue from City Hall, which already cancelled all Araw ng Dabaw activities.
The cockpit arena was identified as the possible ground zero of super-infection. Health officials are tracing about 400 individuals who have attended the three-day event.

She said that on March 3 and March 8, the official “could have stopped the conduct of the derby and further prevented the situation from escalating, but did not vigorously act on it.”

As a result, lawyer Marissa Torentera tendered her resignation on April 5 over the judgment call “that was never made,” Duterte said.

“This serves as a reminder for all officials in the City Government to always put forward the general welfare of the residents of the city. I hope that this shall be a lesson that no one will ever forget, especially for those who work to serve Davao City and the Dabawenyos,” Mayor Duterte said.

The Araw ng Dabaw six-cock derby gathered cockfighting enthusiast from all over the country who were contending for the P26 million prize.

Last April 1, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao released a list of COVID-19 positive patients being treated in Davao region. Seven of them were reported to have travel history or exposure from the New Matina Gallera cockpit.

Dutete said that on March 4, the Sangguniang Panglungsod issued a resolution to approve the request of a derby. While on March 3, the Business Permit and Licensing Division issued the permit after all the documents were duly submitted and complied.

On March 8, the guidelines on COVID 19 were issued by the DOH. Mayor Duterte said it did not prohibit the conduct of events, however, “it clearly set the direction of postponing such events.”

Duterte said that on March 12, she instructed the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) to shut down all galleras upon learning the ongoing derby.

“Based on the documents presented and the timeline covering the community quarantine implemented because of Covid-19, there was no law violated,” she said.

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