Council honors 11-year old Dabawenyo chess champ

Batucan, who topped the boys 12-under division against 55 contenders from all over the country, shook hands with the lawmakers after Councilor Karlo Bello commended him in his privilege speech.

Playing inspired and determined to bring home the crown, Batucan tallied 7.5 points in the nine-round Swiss system format event.
The victory gave the young chesser from barangay Daliao Toril the right to represent the country in the Asean Age Group Championships on June 10-20 in Denang, Vietnam.

Accompanied by his taxi driver-father, Neptali, John Ray presented the trophy to the city council where 25 of the 26 councilors were present.

“I would like to thank you for your support and I hope you will still support me when I represent the country in Vietnam for the Asean Age-Group championships,” said Batucan, a Grade 5 student at the Don Juan Sr. Central Elementary School.

In his privilege speech, Bello asked the city council "to provide the same support and courtesy given to individuals who give honor to the city".
Confident of getting positive response from his colleagues, Bello added: "In advance, I would like to express my gratitude for giving financial assistance" to Batucan who will also carry the region's colors in the Palarong Pambansa come April 20 – 26 in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.”
Councilor Danny Dayanghirang said the Vietnam-bound Batucan can also ask for financial assistance from the office of the city mayor.

Batucan's participation in the National Age-group championships was bankrolled by Bello, Vice Mayor Sara Duterte and the City Sports Development Division under Christopher "Bong" Go.

"We are very thankful to Councilor Bello, Vice Mayor Duterte and to the city sports (office) for giving support to him (John Ray) when he competed in Mandaluyong. Without them, my son could not go there and join the tournament," said Neptali Batucan, John Ray's father.

Last January, Association of Barangay Captains President Paolo Z. Duterte rewarded Smith Billy Cartera with P30,000 for winning three bronze medals in the Asean Para Games held in December 2007 in Thailand.

Other councilors followed the young Duterte’s gesture and chipped in P18,000.

Cartera presented his three bronze medals he won in table tennis on wheels to members of the City Council. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)