Trash talking and CFA’s sanctions

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

IT IS painful to lose the only home that one has known all his life but we should all learn to be accepting when we reach the end of the rope.

This point was clearly made by Cebu Regional Trial Court Judge Estela Alma Cinco when she denied the application by some settlers of a disputed lot in sitio San Miguel, Barangay Apas for an order restraining the demolition of their houses.

Even if she wanted to help, the judge said, she couldn’t do anything. The issue of ownership of the property has been settled by the Supreme Court. And a lower court’s decision awarding possession of the property to the owner has become final and


This is the same point that we have raised earlier. We sympathize with the settlers and we want to see them win. But the odds are stacked against them and unless their lawyers can find a new argument to stall their eviction, they just have to go. That is the meaning of the rule of law, a principle that Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama has made his mantra.

It was thus somewhat strange to see the mayor and his lawyers trying to put up every obstacle to the execution of a lawful court order. Stranger still that a lawyer identified with Rama’s archenemy, former Mayor Tommy Osmeña, had joined in the fruitless endeavor.

They should heed Singco’s wise counsel: don’t give the settlers false hopes. Make their loss a little easier to accept by explaining to them that, as the judge said,
while the law may be harsh, it is still the law.

It is also a lesson that all informal settlers should take to heart: no matter how long your occupancy of a privately-titled land is, that does not change the fact that you do not own it. And that anytime the lawful owner decides that his tolerance of
your occupancy has ended, you should be prepared to leave.


So the Cebu Football Association (CFA) has banned from the ongoing Aboitiz Cup the two under-18 teams that played in the brawl-marred encounter last Sunday. Because of some hotheads in their squads and among their supporters, the Alcoy Football Club and the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu will now have to cool their heels.

I agree with the decision of the CFA Board of Directors, including the order suspending for six months a total of nine players from both clubs who actively participated in the melee. The permanent ban on a 14-year-old Alcoy supporter and a parent from SHS-ADC is likewise in order. I hope that criminal cases are also filed.

The CFA’s sanctions should not, however, end there. They should also address the matter of the reported trash-talking that preceded the fight. Is it true that some parents and supporters of SHS-ADC called the Alcoy players hillbillies (taga-bukid)?

In the National Basketball Association, players are severely punished for making homophobic comments. Racist remarks and gestures are a no-no in European football.

Shouldn’t the CFA similarly punish insulting remarks about a player’s origins or economic status?

I know that you can’t totally stop trash-talking. As French football great Zinadine Zidane said, “things happen in the pitch.” But a line has to be drawn; there are things that one cannot stand.

In Zidane’s case, it was an insult to his mother from Italian footballer Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup Final. The French headbutted the Italian and was promptly red-carded. His team lost but Zidane was defiant, refusing to apologize to Materazzi.

“I’d rather die,” he said. “There are evil people. And I don’t even want to hear those guys speak.”

If the reports are accurate, neither did some members of the Alcoy Football Club last Sunday.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 21, 2014.


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