The bishop of the Diocese of Balanga north of Manila has expressed opposition to the plan to construct a cockpit in the town of Samal in Bataan province.
In his pastoral directive released this week, Bishop Ruperto Santos said the plan is a “disgrace” and “very disappointing” especially amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
“Will that cockpit help our people, especially in the middle of a pandemic when people are even struggling to put food on their tables? Absolutely not,” said the bishop.
The prelate said the planned cockpit will only be a new “breeding ground” for the horrible virus of gambling addiction and greed.
Bishop Santos said the cockpit will also endanger family values and stir the curiosity of children.
“[The] cockpit undermines social values and destroys morals. A cockpit is a venue for propagating a vice, not a service to the community,” he said.
“That cockpit will never build up our people, but will only break up our community. It will never be a source of blessing to our town. On the contrary, it will lead us to poverty and much suffering,” he said.
“Cockpit is a form of social malady and will never be beneficial to all. It is not honorable to God nor is it edifying to our people,” added Bishop Santos.
He asked those behind the plan to focus on the people’s welfare and not on making money and to foster charity not to accumulate easy money or create future misunderstanding and problems.
“This is the time to seek and turn to God. What our people need is hope,” said Santos.
A cockfight, a blood sport between two cocks, or gamecocks, is held in a ring called a cockpit.