Editorial: The unmentioned fourth person

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Monday, March 24, 2014

IT LOOKS like the violence that erupted during the football match between Sacred Heart School (SHS)-Ateneo de Cebu and Alcoy FC more than a week ago is still a topic among netizens and some interested sectors. Partisans of both sides seem determined to continue to keep the flame of discussion burning.

This is not surprising, especially because there is no concrete move as yet to reconcile the protagonists. It is even possible that the issue will reach the courts, especially in the case of that altercation involving the Alcoy FC goalie, an SHS-Ateneo de Cebu player and two older persons.

One of those older persons, the man who was shown in photographs shot by Sun.Star Cebu lensman Allan Cuizon as hitting the Alcoy FC goalie, has been identified as Enrico Mongaya. Some sectors condemned his act while others praised him.


The praise is rooted in the claim that the Alcoy FC goalie engaged the smaller SHS-Ateneo de Cebu player in a headlock, which some say is a dangerous move. Because the SHS-Ateneo de Cebu player was in a dangerous situation, the claim was that Mongaya’s intervention saved the life of the said player.

But this claim underplays the role of the fourth person in the photos that Sun.Star Cebu published, the one wearing black shirt. The man has not been mentioned much in the verbal exchange in social networking sites or even in traditional media.

That man, identified as Richie Arias, who is reportedly from Alcoy, was shown as entering the scene at a time when Mongaya was raising his arm to hit the Alcoy FC goalie, who was also busy wrestling with the SHS-Ateneo de Cebu player.

He rushed in unmindful of what Mongaya was doing and proceeded to break the two wrestling players. In a way, it was his act that ended the altercation. Indeed, that altercation would have ended differently had Mongaya and the two players been left on their own.

In a way, Arias played a big role there—-that of a hero, if being a pacifist is heroic. If there was anybody that the two young players and their parents, and even the Cebu Football Association (CFA) should thank for and recognize, it should therefore be Arias.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 25, 2014.


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