CARREO by Rolando S. Luzong
Peoples Tonight (August 19, 2009)
SABUNGERO PARTY LIST, WHY NOT?
It’s all over the news, in the papers , over the radio and in television. People are talking about one particular topic, that for a day yesterday and until today have practically kicked the “expensive dinner talks” in a manner that the opposition may think that it was Malacañang’s doing – the filing of party list accreditation at the Comelec office by the group Alyansa Sabungero.
Some of the news excerpts, said :
Comelec Chairman Jose Melo questioned the application for accreditation by Alyansa ng Sabungero.
“A group of cockfighters. Why are they marginalized when they hold the money?" Melo said as he vowed to screen thoroughly the list of party-list groups seeking Comelec accreditation.
The statement of the Comelec Chairman only tells of how little the people know about sabong and the many benefits derived from it.
Mr. Chairman, for a start, it must be made clear that gamblers are different from cockers. Ang mga sugarol ay malaki ang pagkakaiba sa isang sabungero. The gamblers look at cockfighting as only one form of a game o chance. A gambler may proceed to the casinos after a derby and still continue gambling.
A true cocker and a lover of cockfighting is one who breeds gamefowls to fight or sell, or one who buys rooster, takes care of them, trains and conditions them and fight them, for honor and excellence that give him joy and satisfaction than any financial or material gain.
One good example of such a cocker is the late Speaker Monching Mitra who would fight 20 roosters in hackfights and bet just P5,500 for each chicken.
Filipino cockers have learned their lesson from the plight of their American counterparts who are now treated like criminals in their country for just being a gamefowl breeder or a cockfighter.
Yes, it’s true that we have in our midst local leaders and lawmakers who are into cockfighting, but directly promoting or protecting cockfighting is something that they will not do, especially in a time when elections are past approaching.
Again, of all the cocker-politicians who have achieved national prominence, it was only Speaker Mitra who never for one moment veered away from cockfighting to protect or advance his political carreer. He lost the presidential election using such slogans as “Manok ng Masa” and up to the end died emulating a rooster’s courage… fighting and proud until his last breath.
I believe what the Filipino cocker needs is a law, or an act of Congress, declaring sabong as a national heritage or a culture that shall not ever be stopped or abolished by any law or declaration in the future.
The anti-cockfighting forces that spearheaded and later succeeded in having cockfighting rendered illegal throughout the
Let me congratulate Alyansa Sabungero for coming to the fore and lighting a torch for the Filipino cockers to follow. Heading the group is Nid Anima, a multi-awarded writer, publisher editor of cockfighting magazines and author of several sabong-related books. His love for cockfighting should be unquestionable.
The cockfighting and gamefowl industry provide an honorable source of income to more than a million breadwinners in the country, but the sabong sector does not enjoy any assistance from the government. I hope that with the Alyansa Sabungero party list, finally, cockfighting as a sport and industry and the cocker as an individual will be more understood.