ExLeyte town mayor convicted of graft over cockfight permit

MANILA The Sandiganbayan has convicted former Babatngon, Leyte Mayor Charita Chan for violating the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act.

In a statement released Wednesday, the antigraft court said it sentenced Chan to prison for at least six years and one month up to seven years, with perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

The court found that on April 13, 2012, Chan issued a mayor's permit in favor of the Liga ng mga Barangay, allowing it to hold cockfighting activities in a licensed cockpit every Saturday.

Under Presidential Decree No. 449, or the Cockfighting Law of 1974, and Municipal Ordinance No. 281, cockfighting in a licensed cockpit shall be allowed only on Sundays, legal holidays, during local fiestas, agricultural, commercial or industrial fairs, carnivals, or expositions in the municipality for not more than three consecutive days, and upon a valid resolution passed for that purpose.

Meanwhile, a special privilege to hold cockfighting is allowed only for the entertainment of tourists, or to support a national fundraising campaign for charitable purposes authorized by the President.

Certainly, the Liga ng mga Barangay is not within the contemplation of these laws entitled to operate or manage cockfights. Thus, it was undoubtedly irregular for the accused to grant a mayor's permit (in favor of Liga), the antigraft court said in its decision.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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