CEBU CITY — Controversy marred the supposed homecoming of the enigmatic boxer John Riel “Quadro Alas” Casimero when he didn’t show up in the hero’s welcome that the city government of Ormoc prepared for him on Thursday, September 9.
The city’s Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) office had prepared a motorcade and a press conference for Casimero where a plaque containing the city’s resolution recognizing the boxer’s recent win against Guillermo Rigondeaux was supposed to be given to him.
The victory over the Cuban opponent last August 14 in Carson, California enabled the Ormoc-native Casimero to retain his WBO bantamweight belt.
In a statement that was posted on the Facebook page of the City of Ormoc, Casimero informed the organizing committee that he could not grace the activities intended for him after the two tires of the vehicle carrying were deflated.
The SK office added that Casimero was also displeased that his companion from Cebu City was held at the port for failing to present a negative result of a RT-PCR test.
Presenting a test result of RT-PCR is one of the requirements when entering Ormoc, the SK office pointed out.
The SK office added that instead of attending the hero’s welcome, Casimero went straight to his home.
SK personnel still went to Casimero’s house to pick him up but the outspoken boxer was bent on skipping the event.
City Mayor Richard Gomez, Vice Mayor Toto Locsin Jr., city councilors and the city’s sports commissioner Rey Evangelista were among the personalities who waited for Casimero in the event.
Gomez, a former national team member, has apologized to Casimero if there was a miscommunication between the boxer and the city.
Gomez said Casimero wanted to be welcomed right at the port but it did not happen due to lack of coordination.
Gomez said the city will “try to be better next time” and assured that Casimero is always welcome in the city.