Press Release
February 15, 2012

Senate adopts resolution to recall Philippine envoy to Argentina

The Senate today adopted a resolution recalling the Philippine envoy to Argentina following the assault of international boxing champion Johnreil Casimero and his entourage, and the trampling of the Philippine flag in Mar del Plata, Argentina last Feb. 11, 2012.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile condemned the assault and demanded an explanation from the Argentinean Ambassador to the Philippines on the incident.

"In view of the sordid, unfortunate incident where our flag was actually dishonored, and the manner by which they (Argentinian fans) maltreated, assaulted and insulted the honor of the country as well as the members of the Philippine team, especially our boxer, I move that we direct the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to recall our ambassador to Buenos Aires," Enrile said.

"We will also call the ambassador of Argentina to this country to explain why they have the temerity to assault the flag, the honor, the dignity of this country, represented by our boxer," Enrile said.

Enrile also directed the DFA to make an official report on the incident.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente "Tito" Sotto III moreover said the resolution also called on the International Boxing Federation (IBF) to impose a ban on Argentinean boxing promoters from "all IBF sanctioned boxing bouts."

Aside from the crowd's unruly actuations, Sotto said, he was bothered by Argentinean Boxing Commission President Osvaldo Bisbal's nonchalant attitude toward the incident.

"His (Bisbal) reaction to the IBF's possible sanctions was: 'We laugh at the sanctions of the international sanctioning bodies. They have no type of authority to do so," Sotto told his colleagues.

Casimero was just declared the winner in the boxing match against Argentinean boxer Luis Alberto Lazarte when the crowd turned wild and began throwing bottled water and other debris at the Filipino boxer and his entourage.

Casimero, along with his trainer Christopher Tepora and boxing manager and promoter Samson Gello-Ani, also suffered serious injuries when Lazarte's fans began hitting and striking them with chairs.

John Riel Casimero, a native of Ormoc City, won via technical knockout against Luis Alberto Lazarte of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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