Of Lockdowns and Elections!

CEBU CITY, Philippines – At 5:00 AM Monday, Nov. 16, 2020, Cebu City will implement a stricter border control policy that limits the entry of non-Cebu City residents to the Queen City. The main reason is the sudden rise of COVID-19 cases.

As of Nov. 14, the number rose to 262, the highest infections in cases since Cebu City is placed under MGCQ status.

A total of 59 cases were reported last Nov. 14 and this is very scary, why? It means that we lowered our guards down. Although the figure was way below the daily average compared to June and July statistics, if we continue to be passive, it is far from happening.

We don’t want to be placed in isolation again. As I said in my previous columns – we Cebuanos love to roam. That is why, because of unexplainable reason, people in Lahug and neighboring areas forgot to observe social distancing and trooped at a to-be-opened shoe store in Sanson Road last Nov. 11, to purchase a low priced pair of sneakers – that offered for 3 pairs-for-P998 and some of them branded either Adidos or Mike.

In fairness to the store owner and management, it was not their fault that people unabatedly stormed the store. Their marketing strategy worked. But unlike the release of the SAP financial assistance or buying Binignit ingredients in Carbon, or celebrating the annual fiesta or holding a Sinulog parade, which was the common reasons why people did not heed the IATF protocols in the previous months, the Cebuanos trooped and forgot social distancing because they wanted to buy shoes. Sad to say they were to blame. It was the fault of those people, for they TOTALLY forgot that coronavirus is still here.

In response, the City Government locked up the store before it officially opened – for violations of the IATF protocols and failure to secure a business permit and for God’s sake DTI permit (on the sale). But honestly, that was a good marketing strategy, coinciding with the 11.11 super sale of two e-commerce stores in opening your physical store with prices as low as that of Shopee and Lazada.

As a consequence, our “free movement” is clipped a bit. It’s better this way than experiencing another lockdown. Please REMEMBER, COVID-19 IS STILL HERE.

As of Nov. 14, WHO recorded 53.9Million cases worldwide, 1.31million deaths and 34.7 million recoveries with the USA topping the list and recording several days of more than 100,000 infections and France, Russia and some parts of Europe and Japan experiencing cases of the second wave of infection.

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Speaking of the USA, Joe Biden has won the presidential elections over Donald Trump who is yet to concede. Trump alleged a massive election fraud that leads to his defeat to Biden. But even in Arizona, which is a strong bailiwick of the Republicans, Biden became the first Democrat to win in the state.

And speaking of cheating – the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur (AIBA) slated its virtual election on Dec. 12. AIBA election committee approved the participation of seven candidates for the presidency. This includes Al-Masri Ramie of Germany, Al Otaiba Anas of UAE, Kremiev Umar of Russia, Mikayilov Sulyeman of Azerbaijan, the current interim president Moustahsane Mohammed of Morocco, Solano Domingo of the Dominican Republik and Van der Vorst Boris of the Netherlands.

Because of rampant cheating, especially in the Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended AIBA in May 2019 because it failed to satisfy the Olympic body of its finances, governance and officiating standards.

However, there will be a boxing event in Tokyo in August next year as IOC created a task force to supervise the tournament that will now ensure safety and fairness.

Fifteen days before the AIBA elections, the Philippine Olympic Committee members will also cast their ballots on Nov. 27 also via virtual meeting.

World Archery Philippines president Clint Aranas will challenge the sitting president Cong. Bambol Tolentino of Integrated Cycling Federation of the Philippines. Under the ticket of Aranas was Steve Hontiveros seeking re-election as chairman, Philip Ella Juico of track and field will run for 1st vice president, Ada Milby of Rugby Football Union secretary-general for 2nd VP, Julian Camacho of Wushu (treasurer), Monico Puentevella of weightlifting for auditor and Robert Manangquil (billiards), Robert Bachmann (squash), Charlie Ho (netball) and Pearl Managuelod (Muay Thai) for board directors under the ticket of Team SPORTS.

Vying under Tolentino’s Team PERFORMANCE slate were triathlon’s Tom Carrasco (chairman), basketball’s Al Panlilio (1st vice president), fencing and modern pentathlon’s Richard Gomez (2nd vice president), gymnastics’ Cynthia Carrion (treasurer), baseball’s Chito Loyzaga (auditor) and Managuelod, judo’s Dave Carter, Rep. Prospero Pichay of chess and surfing’s Jose Raul Canlas as members of the board.

I hope that whoever wins that election will make a policy change in sports. We do not see the best of Tolentino yet as his election as president of POC came only in July of 2019. His biggest achievement was winning the overall championship in SEA Games last December. The expenditures and the alleged corruptions of the Philippine hosting of the biennial games however were weapons in Aranas’ arsenal.

Good luck to the two sides. May the best gentleman win.