MANILA, Philippines – Senator and triathlete Pia Cayetano wants “immediate investigation” by sports officials on the sexual harassment case filed against two players of the men’s Philippine football team.
Also an advocate for women’s issues and sports, Cayetano expressed support for former Philippine Olympic Commitee (POC) President Cristy Ramos, who filed a sexual harrasment complaint against Azkals players Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado, Friday, March 2.
“Sexual harassment must not be tolerated anytime, anywhere,” said Cayetano. “Such acts should not go unpunished.”
Azkals as role models
Cayetano wants Ramos’ “serious allegation” probed especially given the Azkals’ influence, who “are looked up to by the youth as modern-day heroes and role models.”
She also expressed dismay over the rest of the Azkals who were present when the alleged incident happened. According to Ramos’ report, the team appeared to encourage Moy and Guriado’s behavior by laughing at their actions, making no effort to stop them.
Ramos, who played the role of FIFA Match Commissioner during the Azkals-Malaysia friendly Wednesday, February 29, said that when she was performing a player check before the game, Moy made a comment on her bra size and Guirado stood before her only wearing his underwear – with both incidents eliciting laughter from the rest of the team.
“If I were in the shoes of Cristy Ramos, I would likewise feel extremely offended like any woman would be,” she said.
Azkals team manager Dan Palami has apologized for the incident.
This is the second time the Azkals are being accused of sexual harrasment.
In July 2011, model Amanda Coling said she was gang-raped by Simon Greatwich, Neil Etheridge, Anton Del Rosario, and Jason Sabio. The players denied the allegations.
Ramos is the daughter of former president Fidel V. Ramos, who was a friend of Cayetano’s father, the late Senator Renato Cayetano. – Rappler.com