Manila, Philippines – The 16-year-old student boxer Jonas Joshua Garcia, who had been in critical condition after getting seriously hurt at a regional athletic meet in Zambales and brought to University of Santo Tomas hospital passed away last Sunday.
The boy, who was a fourth-year high school student from San Miguel, Bulacan had been clinically brain dead for days since his fight. After replacing his twin on the alleged match, being not really prepared and ill before it, the boy survived the first two rounds before finally losing his consciousness.
On written reports, Garcia developed a blood clot in the brain Monday after the boxing match with the other boy from Bataan on a regional meet organized by the Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association (CLRAA).
Thursday of the same week, he was transferred to the University of Santo Tomas hospital on evening. For reasons of lack in equipment at the provincial hospital he was brought first, doctors said they cannot risk any sidelines it may take if a surgery would happen.
Tonisito Umali, Department of Education assistant secretary, said that the unfortunate event dismayed the department.
He said in a statement, “DepEd is deeply saddened by the loss of Jonas Joshua Garcia. We may not fully know why sad things like this happen, however, we hope that it will help the family of Jonas to know that in this time of sorrow, their extended DepEd family cares and that our thoughts and prayers shall always be with them forever,”
Umali said earlier that the Department of Education was not negligent in their guidelines when they included boxing in the regional athletic meet. He also stated that boxing has always been incorporated in DepEd athletic meets but the incident of a student getting seriously injured was a first.
In the face of the saddening event, the Department of Education is currently investigating the incident and has removed boxing as an event in their sports competitions as a precautionary measure. Also, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police are also analyzing the incident.
Police Senior Inspector Gilbert Diaz of Iba, Zambales said in a statement they have discovered that the trainers of the athletes in boxing were not really professional boxers but were just professional teachers; nevertheless, they just taught the students they might possibly know.
Garcia’s opponent, on the other hand, has been undergoing counseling being mainly affected by what happened.