MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman has perpetually barred former Mabini, Bohol mayor Esther Fostanes-Tabigue from holding public office for allowing illegal cockfighting in her town between 2013 and 2014.
In a 15-page decision, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales found Tabigue guilty of grave misconduct for sanctioning 4 illegal "tupadas" or cockfights while refusing to renew the license of an existing cockpit operator.
Aside from being perpetually banned from government service, Tabigue was also meted a fine equivalent to her 1-year salary.
In a related criminal complaint, Tabigue also faces indictment before the Sandiganbayan for violation of the Cockfighting Law and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Danilo Du, the town's cockpit franchisee since 2009.
Du alleged that Tabigue arbitrarily refused to renew his license to operate despite substantial compliance with the requirements.
The then mayor also allegedly allowed the conduct of tupadas in violation of the law which requires that cockfighting events for charitable purposes must support a national, not merely local, fund-raising campaign approved by the President.