Monday, July 4, 2011

Sara Duterte & Tiffany Startz: Women Punchers

“Son-of-a-gun, this woman knows basic punching,” that’s what I exclaimed when I saw Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte throwing at least four punches that landed in the face of Regional Trial Court (RTC) sheriff Abe Andres last Friday. Sara like her father Rodrigo Duterte, her Vice-Mayor, is also a lawyer. Sara told members of the media after the punching incident that the court sheriff ignored her plea to hold for two hours and wait for her before implementing a court order to demolish houses inside a property owned by a local businessman. Can any Occidental Mindoro women politicians protect my interest, or my property, this far? I doubt it. All of the women politicians in my place do not know how to box. How about the men? I doubt it either.

This is in no way justifying the Laila Ali-like straights and hook she unleashed but its wonderful - for us poor, ordinary citizen- to see our mayor or governor, to stand and fight for our interest, in flesh and in spirit, against moneyed and influential people. Government official who would risk his or her career for our home and shelter. Public servants who avoid making business interest with the wealthy and use his or her position in government.

Very few local officials will risk their political and career, life and limb to deliver a message that authority and leadership is a matter of political will and if it get the ire of the Department of the Interior andLocal Government (DILG), the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) or the National Prosecutors League of the Philippines, so be it. Let shy away from Mayor Duterte for a while and talk about punching in general.

To women out there, keep in mind that even men does not know how to thrown punches right. Freelance writer Jillita Horton reminded us, especially women, “First of all, stop thinking you can't throw a punch because you're a woman. Yes, there are structural differences between a man and woman's body, but trust me on this: Many MEN can't throw a punch, either. I've seen men in cardio kickboxing classes "punch like a girl." And these were average-size men. And I've seen 5'3" women wail on the punching bag. So put your mind to it and tell yourself, "I can hit like a man!" Then do it” Then of course if should be accompanied by training, I mean physical training on how to punch and allow an expert to assist you on this with the aid of a punching bag.

But do you believe that a single punch of an average woman can kill? A 22-year old girl named Tiffany Startz reportedly killed an aspiring rap singer John “Fatboy” Powell, with a single punch to the face after he agreed to be hit in the face by Startz in return for $5 bet. An autopsy ruled that he had died from a brain hemorrhage caused by blunt force trauma. Startz, who is 5'5" and weighs 142lbs, was charged with reckless conduct and battery charges stemming from the incident last September 2010 in Joliet, Illinois, USA. A lawyer for Startz had asked Will County Judge Edward Burmila to dismiss the charges as Powell had agreed to be punched in return for $5.

Let us go back to Duterte’s case. Andres, on the other hand said that he is consulting his bosses for a possible legal action against the lady mayor. He maintained that he was just obeying orders to carry on the demolition order. Duterte may be charged with slight to serious misconduct, the penalties for which range from reprimand to dismissal from office. Some local lawyers said that she could face disbarment for violating Article 148 of the revised penal code, which prohibits qualified direct assaults on persons in authority and their agents “while engaged in the performance of official duties.” But Duterte told reporters that she does not care. She reportedly said she’s not afraid of losing her job or getting disbarred for protecting the poor.

Unlike the lawyer-politician that I know that’s so sweet to be punched in the nose for protecting business interests of people from other provinces than our own fishers and marine life 6 years ago…

(Photo : Durian Post)

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