Discourage settlement in Ateneo vs. Alcoy brawl

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Rey N. Delos santos

I WAS born and raised a typical “probinsyanong taga-bukid” but have already settled in Cebu City and engaged in the law enforcement profession for 20 years.

I would just like to express my humble comments on the article by the London-based contributor Jack Biantan entitled “Mixed martial arts in a football game” that saw print in on March 19, 2014. This is about the beating up by a Sacred Heart School - Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) parent of an Alcoy Football Club goalkeeper headlocking an SHS-AdC player.


While we both shared the same sentiment of not condoning trash talking, I do not agree with the opinion of Jack that “the beating up by an SHS-AdC parent could have been set aside and would be considered as part of football and settled amicably if not for
the dramatic photos that Cuizon took”.

How could it be part of football when the parent aggressor is not even a part of the game? I believed had the beating incident only involved the players, who of course were all minors considered innocents under the law, the unfortunate incident perhaps could be considered part of a “contact sport.” If we have the so-called term “hazard in the profession” then maybe that would be a “hazard in sport.”

But a grown-up and well-educated “city boy” beating a minor would be another story for the latter was supposed to be more civilized and have a cooler head. I do not think the parent aggressor did not intend to harm the goalkeeper because if he was there to subdue the ensuing tussle, he could just have easily overpowered the goalie by pulling him out without striking him with a blunt object.

I am not also amenable to Jack’s brilliant idea to just amicably settle the incident
more so with some sort of “consuelo de bobo” by well-off parents of SHS-AdC to organize a football outreach program in Alcoy and feed underprivileged kids to appease the parents of Alcoy Football Club.

I think doing so will surely not work for these were quite obvious “pala-pala” that even a small child can discern. Rather, it would add insult to injury.

The most common problem with some prominent and well-off people is that with their financial capability and high social status, they have this mentality that everything
in this world can be fixed or they can just easily go scot-free from any wrongdoings.

Reversing the situation, what if it was a parent of the Alcoy Football Club, a

“probinsyanong taga-bukid”, beating an SHS-AdC player? Would these well- off “city boys” who can afford a battery of high-caliber lawyers accept the poor “taga-bukid’s” offer of amicable settlement or would they be easily be appeased with the whatsoever parents’ initiatives to let bygones be bygones?

I think that would result to a multimillion damage suit among others.

Another thing, resorting to an amicable settlement of such a serious incident is just
like condoning the blatant act of this well-educated parent.

This will not save nor promote the sport but instead set a bad precedence that will discourage other football clubs, most specially those out-of-towns to participate such tournaments in the city, for fear their players might end up being beaten by well off parents of contending clubs from the city who can just amicably settle the case.

Probably, the next time out-of-town football clubs participate in tournament in the city, they will have hired goons as part of their entourage to safeguard their players from harassment and any other forms of humiliation by “city boys”, they being “probinsyanong taga-bukid.”

I believed by now, an investigation by the Cebu Football Association (CFA) is going on. But I doubt its outcome, considering that the vice president of Cebu Football Association is also the athletic director of SHS-AdC. Anyway, this sports body only has jurisdiction over the players or teams involved and it should be with the police and court to deal with the concerned SHS-AdC parent.

On the brighter side, last Sunday’s unfortunate incident also served as a wake-up call to organizers to review their security measures during the holding of games for the incident could have been prevented had security personnel been immediately dispatched to subdue the commotion.

In parting, I strongly condemn the action of the SHS-AdC parent of beating up of an AFC goalie. Such act should not be tolerated most specially in any sporting events. He should face the full consequences of his act and have his day in court.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 22, 2014.


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