Temporary setback

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One of the events we looked forward to when we were younger lawyers was the IBP-Mini Olympics. It was held annually with Integrated Bar chapters not only in Cebu but also in the islands of Panay and Negros and the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Zamboanga del Norte taking turns hosting it.

Lawyers are, by nature or by training, overly competitive so it was not unusual that we had arguments. But they never got out of hand except in that regrettable incident at the Aznar Coliseum where some members of the Cebu team beat up a compañero from Davao during a basketball game.

Players of both the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu and the Alcoy Football Club who skirmished in the pitch last March 16 were rightfully sanctioned by the Cebu Football Association. There are lessons that can be learned from the fight but, hey, they did not invent violence in sports. The experience should be viewed as part of growing up and, perhaps, something you can later tell your children.


On the other hand, some quarters have been aggressively presenting the “other side” of the incident lately but none has been said about the supposed taunting by some people of the Alcoy team as “taga-bukid.” So, for the last time, let me ask again: Did the name-calling in fact happen? If so, did the CFA endeavor to identify who made the derisive remark? If it did not, then let them say so and all shall be forgotten.


Back to the IBP Mini-Olympics, we have had so many instances that displayed our competitive nature but one particularly stands out and has become part of the Cebu IBP lore.

The tale has been embellished through the years but friends swear that it took place and I believe them because lawyers allegedly do not lie; they just improve on the truth.

Reymelio “Dodong” Delute, the same man who challenged George Rama for Basak-Mambaling barangay captain last year, was on our Cebu chapter’s basketball, not our chess team when we played in Dumaguete many years ago. One chess player however failed to make the trip so Dodong was picked to man Board 1 where, unfortunately, the man across was a judge who was a national master.

To make a long story short, after only a few moves, Dodong lost all his major pieces including the queen. But he plodded on until he was checkmated. Ever the good sport, Dodong reportedly said “nice game, Judge” and extended his hand but His Honor refused to take it, miffed that Dodong had not given up when the giving up was good.

In chess, when a player’s queen is captured, it is honorable to resign. When he loses his king, the game is over.

While war is sometimes compared to a game of chess, it is probably because in both spheres of conflict, one has to be several moves ahead of his opponent. Unlike in chess, however, the capture of the king and the queen does not automatically end the war.

That is how the recent capture of the Tiamzon couple should be viewed. The Armed Forces has reason to be proud of its achievement and Benito may indeed be the CPP-NPA head as the military claims and his wife Wilma, the second-in-command.

But to expect the decades-long communist insurgency to end with their arrest is wishful thinking. I say this at the risk of being accused of mouthing communist propaganda: the incarceration of the Tiamzons may be a setback to the communist rebellion but it will be a temporary one as new leaders will emerge and take command.

The root cause of the rebellion has to be addressed. How to do it, I leave to both parties.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 27, 2014.


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