Bongbong-Sara camp wants Mindanao youth to be more involved in sports

Published December 20, 2021, 2:30 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

The alliance of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and vice presidential candidate Sara Duterte-Carpio is eyeing to promote more sports programs and activities in Mindanao to keep the children there from violence as well as to develop new athletes to represent the country.

The duo expressed their plan after a 2019 report by Save the Children Philippines stated that some 1.8 million children in the island region were severely affected by the unrest in the area.

The report added that many young people were injured, sickened and suffered psychological stress as a result of the conflicts, even as many of them were learning how to use guns at a very young age.

Marcos and Duterte-Carpio’s UniTeam alliance firmly believed that the region can be a rich source of world-class athletes who only need to be motivated and properly trained for them to follow the likes of Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, and Eumir Marcial, who all brought honors to the country in last year’s Tokyo Olympics. They are all from Mindanao.

“Naniniwala kami na ang isang pinakamabuting paraan para makamit natin ang katahimikan sa Mindanao ay kung mabibigyan natin ng pagkakataon ang mga kabataan na lumahok sa sports at iba pang katulad na aktibidad na magbibigay ng inspirasyon at direksyon sa kanilang buhay (We believe that one of the best ways to achieve peace in Mindanao is for them to participate in sports and other activities that would inspire them and give them directions in life),” the UniTeam said Monday.

Along with peace and order programs of the government, the alliance said projects for affected youths must be organized in order to focus their attention on constructive activities.

“Kasabay ng peace and order dapat may programa tayo para sa mga kabataang lubhang naapektuhan ng patuloy na bakbakan sa Mindanao, nakakabahala na sa murang edad ay marami sa kanila ang marunong nang humawak ng baril, kawawa ang mga batang ito, kaya nais namin palakasin ang isports sa kanilang lugar (Along with the peace and order, we should a program for children affected by conflict in Mindanao. It’s alarming that at an early age, many of them already know how to hold guns. We feel sorry for them, so we want to promote sports in the area),” the UniTeam said.

“‘Yun naman talaga dapat, sports at pag-aaral ang dapat na napagtutuunan nila (They should focus on sports and education),” it added, noting that the duo would create a super body dedicated for grassroots sports program in Mindanao as well as build sports facilities such as basketball courts, soccer fields and gymnasiums.