Fighting rooster kills police chief in Philippine raid

A man in Havana on Sept 21, 2020, training a rooster to fight.
A man in Havana on Sept 21, 2020, training a rooster to fight.PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - A Philippine police officer was killed during a raid on an illegal cockfight after a rooster's blade sliced his femoral artery, an official said on Tuesday (Oct 27).

Cockfighting is a popular blood sport in the archipelago, where money is bet on the outcome of a fight - often to the death - between two colourful birds armed with bladed spurs.

It has been banned, along with other sporting and cultural events, during the coronavirus pandemic to prevent large crowds from gathering and spreading the contagion.

Monday's freak accident in the central province of Northern Samar happened when Lieutenant Christian Bolok picked up a fighting cock as he gathered evidence of the unlawful event.

Its blade struck his left thigh and he bled to death, the provincial police chief, Colonel Arnel Apud, told AFP.

"It was an unfortunate accident and a piece of bad luck that I cannot explain," Col Apud said.

"I could not believe it when it was first reported to me. This is the first time in my 25 years as a policeman that I lost a man due to a fighting cock's spur."

Three people were arrested and two fighting cocks seized, along with two sets of spurs, in the raid in San Jose town where Lt Bolok was the police chief, Col Apud added.