No laughing matter
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
There is no doubt that all Filipinos will applaud the action of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile in calling for the recall of the Philippine Ambassador to Argentina to explain what happened in the case of the Filipino boxer and his team, who were mauled by a mob right in the ring after the Filipino won over his Argentinian opponent.
The sports world was shocked at the report, shown vividly on TV through footages of the melee, where supporters of local fighter Luis Alberto Lazarte, climbed into the ring and began pummeling the boxer from the Philippines, Jonreil Casimero, and hitting members of his team with bottles, chairs and any item they could grab. Reports said it took several minutes before order could be restored, but, by then, some members of Casimero’s team had already been hurt, suffering cuts and bruises.
What kind of sportsmen and fighters does that country have? The boxing match was held in Mar del Plata, a city, and not some hinterland where people might be expected to be uncivilized and uneducated.
In his resolution, Enrile noted that Casimero had gone to Argentina, “thinking that the country is a civilized country and not a country of abnormal, uncivilized people”.
And he was right in using the word “abnormal”. Reports later said that the country’s boxing official belittled the incident, saying it was just something to laugh at. So is it the norm out there to beat up any sportsman who beats their countryman in a fair and evenly matched boxing bout?
The Philippine Embassy in Argentina has reportedly filed a protest with the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the incident, and is awaiting their explanation.
Let us hope that that Ministry does not reply in the same way that their government sports official had, by telling us that it is just a matter to be laughed at.*