I write this in the interest of airing other sides of the controversial football brawl during the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu -Alcoy Football Club game last March 16, 2014. I bet many already heard the Alcoy side many times, even argued in their favor. But these other sides also need to see the light of day, in the interest of balance and fairness.
Yes, I am the eldest brother of the man in grey — Enrico Mongaya — who entered the scene and has been flogged in social media for a week now. Yes, this blog post is biased in favor of the other sides.
And yes, I warn you that these other sides may not be right or not entirely right. The truth after all has several sides. But for those who have not yet read but are interested in knowing the other sides, this post is for you.
Why write this only now? Because I received a copy of the statement of the parents of the Ateneo players only hours ago. In my Facebook page and in the Facebook group “Maghisgot Kitag Politika, Bay,” I only talked about the other sides on Thursday, after I actually heard the account of one of the Ateneo de Cebu boys, Jose Mari Kwan.
There are several points of course but I want to present the statement of the parents first:
While writing this post, I was told that only Cebu Daily News published the letter today.
After the story on Little Azkal Kintaro Miyagi in Fullpoint.com, the Manila Standard picked up Miyagi’s story and this was published on Thursday. Check out this link: http://manilastandardtoday.com/2014/03/20/mother-seeks-justice-for-mauled-footballer/
The Sun.Star Cebu story on Miyagi was published on Friday or five days after the incident: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/sports/2014/03/20/mom-wants-justice-334131
Then, allow me to present the account of little JM Kwan about his experience. Because no reporter asked Kwan about his side, he posted this in his Facebook account. I had shared this online since Thursday. It was published only in Superbalita on Saturday. Below is a screenshot of his Facebook timeline:
Amid all the stories that came out last week, one columnist reached out and wrote about Enrico Mongaya’s side. Here’s a link to Michelle So’s column: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/opinion/2014/03/19/so-football-spectator-speaks-out-334021
Next, let us revisit the injuries of the 5’7″ tall goalie Rodenel Binolirao Jr. He was shown bloodied in a photo taken on Sunday March 16, 2014 that came out several times in Sun.Star and posted several times online in various social media channels.
Here is the description of the injury by his uncle, Sun.Star sports writer Rommel Manlosa in our PM exchanges last Monday when I offered myself as bridge and I still have yet to hear the other sides.
I have no quarrel with Rommel. I consider him a friend. I understand he is after the welfare of his nephew. We are dragged into this partly because of family. He believes the version of his nephew and he urged the family to file a case against my brother. I am expressing myself in this post.
Just allow me to quote Rommel when he mentioned the use of a Swiss knife by my brother while I told him it was Rico’s car key:
Then, his nephew Binolirao suffered a big head wound. “Ang akong pag-umangkon dako kaayo og samad sa ulo.”
I remember reading somebody from the Cebu Football Association (CFA) describing the injury as a “nasty gash.”
Two days after the incident, Binolirao went to the Cebu Provincial Capitol and appealed for help. Here is a picture of Binolirao with Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale that was published in Superbalita:
I am still wondering where is the “dakong samad” and “nasty gash” that was stabbed by a “Swiss knife.” Maybe, the photographer missed the wound on Binolirao’s head. Or maybe, it was not that serious after all.
But whatever, even if Binolirao choked little JM Kwan, many contend that hitting the former on the head is unjustified. An adult has no right to enter a football field to interfere in a fight between kids even if a 5’7″ teener is choking a 5 foot tall boy. Non-interference takes precedence over saving a smaller kid from being choked.
Still, the argument goes, but why hit Binolirao on the head?
Allow me to post this screenshot as part of the other side:
Yet, was it a headlock? Neck cranking? Or was Binolirao merely pinning JM Kwan? The pictures that were published and shared online only made many to go into another round of arguments. I, however, asked the opinions of Atty. Vicente Fernandez who is a judo instructor and fellow journalist John Rey Saavedra who is a jujitso instructor. On Facebook, there are also those who insisted JM Kwan was only pinned down, not choked nor was his head being cranked.
For ordinary laymen like me, we can say “gitook.” And that was what Rico saw at the heat of the moment.
Maybe, Sun.Star needs to publish a clearer picture of the situation before Rico arrived at the scene. So far, this was the only one published and five days after the incident:
With all these said, I can only add that my brother made a judgement call that many disagreed with. However, there are a few like little JM Kwan and the relatives of the other Ateneo players who believed Rico saved a life.
Ah, JM Kwan said his Tito Rico saved two lives. And his family is in the process of filing a case against Binolirao.
At this point, I want to touch something legal. There are also legal points like child abuse and defense of strangers. But I am not a lawyer so I will just present screenshots:
1. Here’s this piece of jurisprudence on child abuse:
2. Here’s a screenshot of the blog of Atty. Manuel J. Laserna Jr. at http://attylaserna.blogspot.com/2012/02/self-defense-explained.html
As I said in the onset, this blog post is biased in favor of Rico, my brother. But I know the points presented by both sides. I won’t begrudge you if you will still join the lynching as long as you have also examined both sides and found the other sides wanting.
I respect all your opinions. All I am asking is also respect for my opinion. In the end, the controversy will be decided in the proper forums and Rico is prepared to face the consequences, unless of course there will be reconciliation in the mutual interest of all concerned.
“Take a Second Look” (Cebu Daily News)
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