by Rolando S. Luzong
CERTIFICATION & LICENSE FOR SENTENCIADORS SHOULD BE REQUIRED
I have time and time again written about the improvement and standardization of cockfights officiating nationwide, but despite our repeated pronouncements, it seems that we have been shouting on deaf ears.
It has been more than 10 years since an active nationwide cockpit association was in place. However, due to personal business interests and intense competition among the members, the Philippine Cockpit Association folded in 1992.
A lot of gamefowl breeders’ organizations have been put up over the last several years that also gave birth to a countrywide federation of gamefowl breeders. Unfortunately, we can not wholly blame the National Federation of Gamefowl Breeders if the conduct of the game officiating is not their priority, because for obvious reasons they are more concerned in providing technical and organizational assistance to their members.
Despite the fact that the regulation of cockfighting have totally been under the powers and authority of the Local Government Units since the Omnibus Local Government Code became part of the laws of the land, the officials of towns, cities and provinces are not equipped or have not given importance to rules and regulations of the sport in their respective areas. Instead, sad to admit, they are just on guard for whatever favors the cockpit owners or operators could extend to them, financially or otherwise.
With all these things, the wishes of minions of cockers that the ranks of cockfights’ referees or sentenciadors should be cleansed and professionalized is seemingly, as of now, still a remote possibility.
How can we eliminate the hooligans from the officiating sector of our sport when there is no clear licensing or certification system in place. As such is the usual case, a referee who commits a grave misconduct and got kicked out from a particular cockpit can just transfer to a neighboring cockpit and continue to do his thing.
So far, the only solid organization of cockers in the country that can truly speak thru a collective voice is the NFGB and because of this that I again knock on the doors of the NFGB to please exercise your power and look far beyond what you have been doing.
No matter how good your breeding materials are, no matter how good you raise your chickens, no matter how well conditioned your roosters are, a bad referee can always ruin everything.
Municipal or city licenses are no safeguard, because we know how easily these things can be acquired, especially with the right connections and the right amount.
The pressure should be put on the cockpit owners and operators. More than the sharing conditions, the credibility of the sentenciadors should be the first consideration when any group or individual is negotiating to hold a derby in a particular cockpit.
Unless we do something about this, things will not change.