A 16 year old high school student from Bulacan is in a coma and reportedly “brain dead” after being rushed to the provincial hospital in Iba, Zambales when he complained of dizziness at the end of the second round of a preliminary bout at the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association competition last Monday.
Nica Tomines of ABS-CBN News identified the young boxer as Jonas Joshua Garcia and reported that Garcia told Floriano Sto. Tomas, technical official of the Bulacan provincial team that he felt dizzy at the end of the second round.
ABS-CBN News reported that doctors declared Garcia “brain dead” on Wednesday while the boy’s grandfather Rolando Garcia said “I should have not allowed him to fight” while his twin brother Raven who is also into boxing was reportedly in shock.
An evaluation by the Region III office of the Department of Education in the Philippines maintained there was no negligence on the part of the technical officials in the fight.
However, all boxing fights were suspended according to the Chief Sports Officer of the Regional Athletic Association Guillermo Bugnot.
Education assistant secretary Tonisito Umali told ANC they will look into whether there was negligence in the case of Garcia.
Umali said - “The concept of liability will always be there if there's negligence. So if there's no negligence in this fortuitous event, I don't want to sound justifying this, although in all sports there is an inherent risk even in basketball when a player is tripped and his head hits the court and in baseball when a player is struck by the ball.”
Umali added - "But if there's negligence, like if the protective gears are not worn and they were allowed by our referees, or the rules were not followed, then people may be held liable."
He also noted that since Garcia was a minor he was trequired to have parental consent before joining the boxing competition.
While noting how really sad it was Umali indicated - “we have to look into this, you know we have to really study how to improve our safeguards."
At the same ABS-CBN News reported that the Department of Education is focusing on providing assistance to Garcia and his family while the local governments of Bulacan and Zambales have also extended financial assistance.