A police chief in the Philippines, Lieutenant Christian Bolok, was killed while trying to stop a cockfight after a small sharp blade tied to the claw of one of the birds tore his femoral artery. The tragic accident occurred during a police raid to break up an illegal cockfighting event. The Northern Samar Provincial Police Department in the Philippines announced Bolok’s death on Wednesday after several attempts to save him from excessive bleeding proved abortive.
Bolok, who was in his mid-30s was killed on Monday in Madugang village where the cockfight was held. He and other officers had tried to break up the cockfight by picking up the birds when the small sharp knife, referred to as gaff, pierced his artery. Other officers tried to stop the bleeding with a tourniquet but failed, said Provincial Governor Edwin Ongchuan of Northern Samar.
“The police chief and the other officers went there to break up the cockfight and as he tried to pick up one of the birds, the blade which had probably been laced with a poisonous substance pierced his artery,” Gov. Ongchuan explained. “Other officers tried to stop Bolok from bleeding out with a tourniquet but it is possible they tied the wrong place.”
Three of the farmers who had set up the cockfight were apprehended and authorities are searching for three others. The officers also confiscated seven of the fighting birds, two gaffs, and 550 pesos ($10) according to the authorities. The Philippines police department has been trying to put a stop to cockfights which are believed to be one of the reasons for the increasing rates of COVID-19 in the South Asian country, Fox News reported.
The provincial and local governments of Nothern Samar have commended Bolok’s efforts in the fight against the spread of coronavirus in the country and also provided financial compensation to his family.
Arnel Apud, the police chief of the province lamented the loss of Bolok.
“I grieve because we will miss our brother who laid down his life to discharge his duties,” Apud stated. “The Philippines National Police mourns the tragic loss of Lt. Bolock and sends its heartfelt condolence to his family members.”
Apud expressed his initial disbelief over what he described as an unprecedented incident.
“When I heard the news, I couldn’t believe it at first because in my 25 years in service no officer has ever been killed during a cockfight,” he explained.
Cockfights, Tupada in the Philippines, are popular sports where people gamble about the outcome of a brutal, often fatal fight between roosters. While there are some legal tupada spots, most are illegal and the country has banned all kinds of gatherings due to rising COVID-19 cases. A total of 7,114 people have died from coronavirus and 375,000 cases have been recorded.