The People v. Mr. Excitement (x 2)

by: Mickey Ingles (Screenshot from Youtube/GMA News)

If you were a big PBA fan in the 90s, you’d know who Bong Alvarez is. The man could flat out ball. I mean, the man’s nickname was “Mr. Excitement,” which perfectly described how he played—and that says a lot, given most nicknames of that era were just odd and had nothing to do with basketball and more to do with rhyming (Vince “the Prince” Hizon, really?) Our very own Number 23 even played in the US. Sadly, Mr. Excitement has had some unfortunate run-ins with the law recently. He’s been arrested twice in less than two months—not the 2/2 anyone would want.

The first arrest was on April 23, 2017 for an alleged violation of RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act, better known as VAWC (pronounced “vahw-see”). The second was on June 3, 2017 for an alleged violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, better known as the CDDA (pronounced “see-dee-dee-ae.” You can also refer to it as “see-dah-dah;” it’s a free country.) We’ll explain both below.

Arrest #1: Physical Abuse of His Live-in Partner

According to news reports, Mr. Excitement was arrested in Baguio City after allegedly inflicting injuries to his live-in partner Mary Ann Ting. Police reports stated that Ms. Ting sustained “multiple abrasions on her face, right forearm, and abdomen.” So VAWC charges were set against Bong Alvarez.

VAWC is a law enacted in 2004 to essentially address violence committed against women and children.[1] It defines “violence against women and their children” as any act or series of acts committed by any person against the following:

  • A woman who is his wife or former wife,
  • A woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship,
  • A woman with whom he has a common child, or
  • Against a woman’s child, whether legitimate or illegitimate.[2]

The violence envisioned by the act is not limited to physical violence. It also includes sexual violence, psychological violence, and even economic abuse.[3] I always found the economic abuse tidbit interesting because it criminalizes the act of preventing a woman to engage in any legitimate business or profession.[4] Other notable acts penalized by VAWC are stalking, peeping, and even inflicting harm on the pets of the woman or her child.[5]

Anyway, in Mr. Excitement’s case, he allegedly beat up his live-in partner, which puts him squarely within the ambit of VAWC (note that VAWC protects girlfriends as well as wives), specifically Section 5 (a) which penalizes those who cause physical harm to the woman or her child. If ever Alvarez gets convicted, his jail time will depend on the injuries sustained by Ms. Ting—it can be as long as 12 years to as short as a month and a day.[6] Not an exci-Ting prospect for Alvarez.

Arrest #2: Illegal Drug Use

 A month or so after Mr. Excitement posted bail on the VAWC charge, he was caught engaged in a shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride, if you want to be technical) session in, get this, a Quezon City barber shop, which is not exactly the smartest of places to do drugs. To make things more, um, exciting, the police were actually enforcing a warrant of arrest for a totally different crime (slight physical injuries) when they found the ex-PBA star in flagrante delicto in a drug session with two other dudes—one of which was named Ray Allan Cruz, which is close enough to Ray Allen to force a basketball connection for the sake of it.

The CDDA has been in vogue recently, especially since President Duterte took office and started his war on drugs. But what is it?

Well, the CDDA was enacted in 2002 to basically protect Filipinos, especially the youth, from the pernicious effects of dangerous drugs.[7] The DDA’s annex has a laundry list of these dangerous drugs—these include cannabis, ecstasy, opium, cocaine, and meth, among others. As long as it’s in the list, it’s considered a dangerous drug; whether it’s marketed as a “recreational” drug or not doesn’t matter.

stanley
You can get arrested for that, Stanley.

The DDA prohibits a whole host of activities related to drugs, such as importation,[8] sale, distribution and administration,[9] the maintenance of a drug den,[10] and the manufacture of drugs.[11] Growing cannabis in your backyard (or basement) is also illegal.[12]  Mere possession of dangerous drugs is also prohibited and can land you a lifetime in prison, especially if you’re caught with these drugs in social gatherings or parties[13]—which begs the question, why risk your future for some ecstasy in a club?

walter white
How many provisions of the CDDA does this violate? (GIF from giphy.com)

Mr. Excitement was nabbed for the illegal use of meth. Illegal use of drugs for first-time offenders has a penalty of a minimum of 6 months… in a rehab center,[14] which is way better than jail. Second-time offenders get chucked in jail for 6 years to 12 years. It seems this is Alvarez’s first arrest for illegal use. So, it was fortunate for Alvarez that he was caught using meth, and not possessing meth. It made all the difference between a lifetime in prison and a few months in a government rehab center.

How these will all turn out for Alvarez, it’s too early to tell, but here’s to hoping the excitement dies down for Mr. Excitement.

Mickey Ingles is the editor-in-chief of Batas Sportiva.


 

[1] RA 9262, Section 2

[2] RA 9262, Section 3.

[3] RA 9262, Section 3 (D).

[4] RA 9262, Section 3 (D) (1).

[5] RA 9262, Section 5 (h).

[6] RA 9262, Section 6 (a).

[7] RA 9165, Section 2.

[8] RA 9165, Section 4.

[9] RA 9165, Section 5.

[10] RA 9165, Section 6.

[11] RA 9165, Section 8.

[12] RA 9165, Section 16.

[13] RA 9165, Section 11.

[14] RA 9165, Section 15.

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