MEMBERS of the national karatedo team has expressed a loss of confidence on Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF NSA Inc.) president Joey Romasanta and secretary general Raymund Lee Reyes amid allegations of mismanagement in the federation.
In a letter made public during Wednesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum, the national players said they are looking for a change in the PKF leadership after raising allegations of mishandling of funds during their training camp in Germany prior to the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.
“Our reason for this is because we found out that our federation officials have been cheating on us and have been using us to make money out of our hardships and sacrifices for the federation,” said the players in a letter signed by 18 members of the squad led by team captain Engene Dagohoy.
According to the complaint lodged by the national team before Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner Ramon Fernandez, the players received US$400 each from the PKF for the training camp instead of the $1,700 released by the PSC for each athlete.
Romasanta and Reyes have already denied the allegations.
“We thought all this time PSC was not giving us enough support because every time we travel, our leaders will always say that PSC did not give us enough funds for us to sustain our trip and for our plans and programs. We must share our allowances if we want to continue our travel and training abroad,” said the national players.
The players also calling for change since the PSC has suspended its funding of the federation due to the complaint that is being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
”We need a fresh start that can help and save the Philippine karate,” they said.
Dagohoy urged other athletes to speak up against maltreatment and get in touch with the PSC particularly with Fernandez, who accompanied the group composed of Mae Soriano, Rexor Tacay, John Paul Bejar, Jayson Ramil Macaalay, Miyuki Takay, Orencio James (OJ) Delos Santos, and Dagohoy.
”Speak up. It’s a different time now. The change is here. Sa PKF, sana kung kukuha sila ng opsiyal, ’yung nagmamahal sa sport. ’Yung mahal ’yung karate, ’yung may alam sa karate,” Dagohoy said.
Fernandez reiterated the support of the PSC to the athletes during the forum sponsored by San Miguel Corp. and Pagcor and held at the Tapa King restaurant in Cubao.
"Ang message na sinabi sa akin in chairman (Butch Ramirez) on this is ‘Mon, we’re going all the way in this case,’” said the PBA great and four-time league MVP.
“That’s why aside from the (PSC) Task Force which is headed by Atty. Sarah Frivaldo, two other lawyers are handling this case together with the NBI. That’s why chairman Butch wanted the NBI to come in para hindi nila sabihin n PSC lang ang nag-iimbestiga.”