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Coliseum owner surprised over shoe-burning rally

By: Jhunnex Napallacan, Juli Ann M. Sibi February 20,2016 - 10:51 PM

The owner  of the Cebu Coliseum said he didn’t know of any burning of Nike shoes that happened at the parking lot last Friday.

Lawyer Augusto Go said he did not know about the incident which was recorded in a two-minute, 49-second video that was uploaded in Facebook.

In the video, Oriel Ballano, a pastor of a religious group, declared “Nike Burn Your Sole, not my soul,” in reference to the athletic wear company’s decision to drop Sarangani Rep. and People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao as its endorser.

Go said the burning may have been done outside the coliseum since it is near a mall.

“I  don’t think it’s inside, maybe outside. That is their right, but they can do it outside the coliseum, not inside. The coliseum is for entertainment, for (sports). They can use the coliseum for rallies but not for discrimination,” he said.

Go also said Pacquiao should not have said things that offended the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

STICK TO BOXING

“He is a great hero, no question about it. He is a great Filipino.  He is a boxer, he should stick to boxing,” he said.

Asked if he was saying that Pacquiao should not run for Senate, Go immediately said it was not what he meant.

Security guard Jefrey Bitos shows what's left of the Nike shoes that were burned last Friday at the coliseum's parking lot. (CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

Security guard Jefrey Bitos shows what’s left of the Nike shoes that were burned last Friday at the coliseum’s parking lot. (CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

“No, I did not say that but he  should not say things that will offend other people. They cannot do anything if they are lesbian, they are lesbian…if they are homosexuals, they are homosexuals… if they are gay, they are gay. You cannot do anything about that,” he said.

FREE HUGS

Also last Friday, Cebu’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) youth leaders started a ‘Free Hugs’ Campaign in response to Pacquiao’s comments against same-sex marriage.

Supporters carried various cards with lines “You are worth it,” “You are beautiful” and “Stop the Discrimination Now,” and hugged passers-by in the University of the Philippines Cebu campus.

John Isaac Saguit, an LGBT advocate who organized the first student-led PRIDE March, and member of the UP Cebu Student Council, said the campaign is a “reminder” to the LGBT community that “they are loved by so many.”

“That is what we should share, not Pacquiao’s discriminatory comments,” Saguit told Cebu Daily News.

Saguit said while Pacquiao believed that he merely stated his opinion, he didn’t know the consequences of his statement.

“Likening LGBT members to animals can have a grave effect on those who are afraid to speak out about their gender,” Saguit said.

But while he didn’t agree with Pacquiao’s comments, Saguit said stoking the hate towards Pacquiao will not help the LGBT community’s cause.

“The bigger picture here is pushing for a national Anti-Discrimination Bill and for our local government to implement anti-discrimination ordinances in order to avert more of this kind of hatred and bigotry,” Saguit said.

The cities of Cebu and Mandaue passed ordinances that ban discrimination against the LGBT community.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu Coliseum, Manny Pacquiao, Nike

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