By ROGER M. BALANZA
Gentlemen warriors have a motto that makes the vanguished survive defeat with limbs intact: Do not kick an enemy who is down. The motto applies as well to victors in duels: Do not kick a dead man.
Have you seen Pinoy boxing icon Manny Pacquiao rushing up to help a fallen foe rise from his feet after dealing him a knock-out? That is a gentleman warrior in action: Manny does not kick an enemy who is down nor would he kick a dead dog.
Manny is going up the ring in November for a third encounter against Mexican fighter Juan Manuel, whom he defeated twice in previous outings.
I go for Manny, in what should be a repeat of his slaughter of Oscar de la Hoya last year. We beg JuanMa to go home to Mexico and say adios to the fight before the bell rings.
Which should bring us to the piece we wrote before the May elections last year and before the Pacquiao-dela Hoya non-encounter:
The Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was doing a gentleman warrior thing, a Manny Pacquiao, when it asked Speaker Prospero Nograles to give up his mayoral fight against Vice Mayor Sara Duterte.
Nograles has all the elements of a fallen warrior. If he had figured in Manny Pacquiao’s recent fights, he is an Oscar de la Hoya—tired and wobbly, with defeat all over his face on the way to the final bell.
The gentleman warrior in Manny Pacquiao was overwhelming in the final rounds. He held his punches until Oscar gave up the fight—without being pulverized. That was Manny—-a warrior with heart.
Hugpong wants the coming Nograles-Inday Sara to be like a Manny-Oscar fight—Nograles giving up to avoid being pulverized or better not go up the ring for th fight.
Indeed, Nograles should do a de la Hoya, before he suffers the ignominy of being beaten by a woman, according to Hugpong. Better still, he should now raise the flag of surrender, even before the bell rings.
Hugpong has been kind to Nograles, knowing he would not last the distance. Or if he would, he would end up a bloody mess, his political career as dead as the dead.
Hugpong had earlier called on Nograles to give up the fight, as ominous signs of his impending defeat showed their ugly faces—from the preliminaries up to the campaign period. In boxing, this should mean from the time that Nograles was in the gym for training up to the time when he was face-to-face with Inday Sara in the ring.
But Nograles apparently does not believe in omens.
Hugpong, two weeks to go before election, has repeated its call for Nograles to jump out of the ring to avoid an impending slaughter in the hands of Inday Sara.
The tale of the tape shows it all.
At the weigh-in prior to the battle, Nograles was fartman with all airs. He was at the bottom of surveys, 2 chances to win against Inday Sara’s 8.
At ringside on fight night, Nograles would have no one but his family to cheer for him. A stable mate, Benjamin de Guzman, scheduled in the under-card fight with Mayor Rody Duterte would be a no-show: he would go home to Caraga to avoid a mugging. But Father Pete Lamata would come in disguise as an unmarried priest to pray that Nograles come out alive. Candidates under his Team Nograles would not be there because Nograles did not give them fare money. But Eduardo Malay of the Issues and Advocacy Center and Virgilio Bermudez of the Mindanao Insider Daily would also be there to score the fight with defective China-made calculators. With the Sparrow Unit of the NPA coming to the fight, you would not see retired general Jovito Palparan and Jun Alcover, Nograles’ campaigners, around for fear of an assassination.
The prime seats, the bleachers and even the giant screens outside of the Comelec Superdome would have crowds that wear the Inday Sara wristwatch: Kumander Parago and his NPA rebel band and their militant progressive allies, Chinese businessmen harassed by Nograles friend Ed Matillano of PASG, Willy Torres with UM students and broadcasters from UMBN Radyo Ukay led by Kiking Kimpan and Roy Geonzon, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and thousands of his Kingdom followers, City Hall executive assistant Bong Go, the Dizon clan with truckloads of Davao pomelo for everybody, the Marforis, members of the Davao media accused by Nograles as lapdogs of the Dutertes, 26 police officers of the DCPO suspended for six months by the Ombudsman following a probe on the Davao Death Squad engineered by Nograles, Jeanette Lomanta, Dodong Solis of DXDC, Senators Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas, Sen. Manny Villar, Sen. Dick Gordon, former President Erap Estrada with friend Chavit Singson ready with their millions to bet on Inday Sara, and Gibo Teodoro with Madeline “Bebot” Dizon Marfori in tow. And the city’s barangay captains and kagawads. And Edgar Velez, publisher of Durian Post, sued by Nograles with 4 counts of libel.
The fact is the entire city practically would be there on fight night to root for Inday Sara and watch the Nograles murder.
The cards are stacked against Nograles, indeed.
Mayor Rody of course would be there to do a Freddie Roach for Inday Sara. Mayor Rody is not wanting in experience on how to beat Nograles. He beat him to a pulp in their encounter in 1992. He also trained de Guzman for the 1998 fight where Nograles was clobbered.
If Fr. Pete Lamata hates violence the way he hates the motorcycle-riding sweet-shooting Davao Death Squad gunmen and their 45s, we also hate violence of the political kind, like seeing Nograles being led to the slaughterhouse and cut to pieces…and by a woman at that. .
So we are joining Hugpong in asking, nay begging, Nograles to please give up the fight.
(NB: In the May 2010 election, Mayor Sara beat Nograles by more than 220,000 votes in the mayoral contest; in the vice mayoral race, Rody Duterte made de Guzman, Nograles’ running mate, eat dust with a ote margin of more than 300,000 votes.)