Sports Eye

Justice served for cyclist Garalde

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.

AFTER three years of waiting, the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 14 under Judge Alberto Tenorio finally meted Vhon Martin Tanto, a former Army reservist, up to 40 years in jail sentence plus moral and exemplary damages for the murder of my fellow cyclist Mark Vincent Garalde

The CCTV surveillance footage showed Garalde riding his bicycle evening of July 25, 2016 in Quiapo, Manila when Tanto driving his red car suddenly blocked the path of Garalde. It led to an altercation then the two came to blows. Garalde managed to get Tanto in a headlock, but Garalde sensing there was no more fight in Tanto after a few minutes, decided to release Tanto, and Garalde walked toward his bicycle after talking to someone briefly inside Tanto’s car. Then Tanto suddenly got out from his vehicle holding a gun and walked toward Garalde and without hesitation, shot Garalde fatally in the face and fired four more times in Garalde’s body. Yes, that murder incident became viral on July 25, 2016. I hope you saw that too.

Well, admittedly I had some altercations, too, with some motorists especially the undisciplined jeepney and bus drivers during my 32 years of cycling training. But unlike what happened to Garalde, cooler heads prevailed after a brief disagreement. No fisticuffs, no curses and no dirty fingers ever ensued.

Yes, I doff my cap to adjudicator Tenorio. He made a good decision based on the pieces of evidence. Yes, justice has been finally served to Garalde and to his family. May the good Lord rest his soul.

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When the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) special election was held last July 28 after the resignation of the former POC prexy Ricky Vargas, cycling czar Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino was elected as the new president. Just when I thought that the fragmented POC will finally move on with our hosting of the 30th Southeast Asia Games just four months away, I was wrong. Barely a few days after the POC election, reports reached me that POC is still in disarray and disunited up to these days. Why? Because the powerful POC executive board doesn’t really like Tolentino. Could it be because of Tolentino’s braggadocio style? The executive board meeting supposed to be held last August 2 did not push through due to continued disagreements and squabbling among them.

The SEA Games is just around the corner but our national sports leaders are still in a frenzied war. It’s politics that’s destroying everything.  It should never mix with sports. If these leaders really love our country which they always say, they must settle their differences and find solutions for the Philippines’hope that  sake and prevent an international embarrassment for the country.
Pero ang nangyayari ay pataasan sila ng ihi at manhid. When will we ever learned? Siguro kapag puti na ang uwak.

I sincerely hope that the coming biennial meet will generally be successful because our country’s image is at stake. The success of the meet is the success of all Filipinos.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. EPHESIANS 6: 12

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