Members of the Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF) announced on Wednesday that they no longer trust and support the leadership of PKF President Joey Romasanta citing the latter’s refusal to hear the grievances within the national team.
Eighteen athletes, headed by team captain Engene Stone Dagohoy, and assistant coach David Lay have signed a petition letter addressed to the PKF Board of Trustees stating their “vote of no confidence” to the leadership of Romasanta and former secretary-general Raymund Lee Reyes.
The group alleged that Romasanta removed some members of the team.
“That is one of his first moves that we didn’t approve of,” Dagohoy said in Filipino during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday at the Tapa King restaurant in Araneta Cubao, Quezon City.
“Well, we just said go ahead. Who will support him anyway? How can we trust a leader that we do not see most of the time? We only see him if there’s an event. At the same time, he’s completely clueless of the all the hardships we’re experiencing.”
“We are happy that we are united in this fight and we have fought for what is right,” Dagohoy added.
Last December, PKF athletes have filed a complaint against Reyes for allegedly short-changing them. The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has allocated a training allowance of $1,800 to each of the 12 athletes and two coaches who went to Germany last July 20 to August 9 to prepare for the Malaysia SEA Games.
The group alleged that Reyes only gave them $470 each but were asked to sign receipts stating that $1,800 was disbursed to each member of the delegation.
Dagohoy said that they are not convinced with Reyes’ explanation that no money was lost.
Besides Dagohoy, national karate team members Mae Soriano, Rexor Tacay, John Paul Bejar, Jayson Macaalay, Miyuki Tacay and OJ Delos Santos were in the forum together with PSC commissioners Ramon Fernandez and Charles Maxey.
“Now with President Rodrigo Duterte as our president, we are not afraid to air our grievances anymore. Truth is on our side,” said Tacay.
The PSC has suspended disbursing financial support to the PKF last December 22 but assured that members of the national karatedo team will continue receiving their monthly allowance.
“I’m willing to go to the WKF (World Karatedo Federation) and file a complaint against them (Romasanta et al),” said Fernandez.
Meanwhile, Romasanta said that the allegations against him were politically motivated.
“Obviously, there are powerful personalities out to grab the leadership of PKF. It is a case of here we go again,” said Romasanta, adding that they should wait first for the result of the investigation being done by the National Bureau of Investigation.
Romasanta clarified that they did not remove anyone from the national team because there’s no national team yet.
“I just want to clarify that we’re not removing anyone (from the national team) and they are part of the national pool. They are also under the care of the PSC,” he said.