Philippine Azkals and the Issue on Sexual Harasment

10 Mar

Recently the Philippine National Football Team or the Philippine Azkals was hounded by a sexual harassment controversy. As a fan of football and supporter of my national team, I was surprised when the news broke out. I was a happy fan after their friendly game with Malaysia last February 29. Though I’ve been a football fan long time ago, I only watch matches on TV or via internet, so the Feb 29 match was my first time to watch a football match live from the stadium and my first time to see the Azkals play live from the pitch too. So I was ecstatic and hyper, cheering for my NT, especially when Denis Wolf scored his first international goal.

But 2 days later, after the boys left for Nepal for the AFC Challenge Cup, a sexual harassment was filed by the match commissioner Cristy Ramos (daughter of the former Philippine president Fidel Ramos) against two of NT’s athletes – Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado.  ALLEGEDLY (please journalist/sports writer, use this word or you’ll be sued, be a responsible journalist for God’s sake!), Moy made a comment over ‘her’ bra size, saying ‘Must be cup B’ while he was standing next to her. And being the only female in the room, Ramos immediately thought the remark was about her. Angel on the other hand, as claimed by Ramos was only in his underwear when the commissioner checked on him and didn’t even bother to cover himself, while the rest of the Azkals were laughing.

Immediately after the news broke out, Azkals manager Dan Palami apologized to Ramos on behalf of the team and promised not to tolerate this behavior if proven and that the team will cooperate with the investigation. But just like Palami said, it is sad that they were informed about the issue through media and not through Ramos herself.  He even mentioned that after the match, he and Ramos even exchanged pleasantries but the latter never mentioned anything about the locker room incident.

Ramos has been entertaining a lot of interviews from different TV networks and publications here and there while the team, including the two accused, is already in Nepal and have limited contact to the country to air their side of the story.

On the recent interview with Palami by Philippine Daily Inquirer,  he talked to the team about what really happened in the locker room and he was told that the boys were having a conversation prior to Ramos’ arrival. Apparently, Denis Wolf (my love) was teasing another player Carli de Murga about the flatness of his chest, when Moy who was standing near Ramos replied something like ‘Just because you are Cup B, you say that to Carli’. (Denis really have a nice looking chest, I swear! :D) But Ramos thought that Moy were referring to her bra size.

As for Angel Guirado, as he claimed via his twitter account, he was wearing shorts the time Ramos checked on him. He even said that even if he was on his underwear, it shouldn’t be an issue after all it’s  men’s locker room, it should be expected.

Though, being a woman I will not tolerate this as well, even if I am a huge football fan, if they really did something wrong, I would support the suspensions or whatever sanction the governing organization will give.  But what saddens me is how some people, mostly Filipinos, already have made judgment on the issue, calling the entire Azklas team rude and disrespectful to women, even if the issue is still being investigated by the AFC and PFF. Ramos even wants the entire team to be sanctioned. And to make things worst, local politicians are using the issue to their advantage since 2013 election is fast approaching.

The Azkals have come a long way and are doing really well when it comes to football. They reintroduced the sport to this basketball-craze country. They revived the beautiful game despite the lack of government funds and support from the private sector when they were starting a few years ago. And now that they are popular and are hailed as the new sports heroes, others would do everything to put them down. Sadly, crab mentality exists in this country. Come on, why can’t we all be happy and support all athletes especially the ones playing for the national team? After all, they’re doing it for the country.  And don’t give me the ‘half-Filipino and half foreign’ crap as an excuse that these guys don’t deserve the support. They are Filipinos too, even if their dad or mom is from another country.  At least, these lads, whether they’re foreign-based players or not, are doing something for the country. Unlike those who claimed themselves to be full-blooded Filipinos but only giving disgrace to our homeland.

 

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2 Responses to “Philippine Azkals and the Issue on Sexual Harasment”

  1. Addie March 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    I don’t follow the issue but I’ve once read a rude comment about them always ‘in heat’.

    • Y March 12, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

      There would always be people who will try to put others down. The investigation isn’t over yet but these groups already judged them, calling them names and all that. They even blamed them for being born to Filipino and foreign parents. Sadly, most of us Filipinos have this misplace sense of patriotism.

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