Azkals player, team manager respond to allegations
MANILA, Philippines - Azkals national team manager Dan Palami reassured Commissioner Cristy Ramos that the Philippine Footbal Federation (PFF) takes the allegations of sexual harassment seriously and will promptly investigate the incident.
Former Philippine Olympic Committee president Cristy Ramos filed the sexual harassment complaint against Azkals players Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado Friday, March 2, two days after the Azkals-Malaysia match when the incident allegedly took place.
In her letter which Ramos submitted to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) disciplinary committee, she said that when she was performing a player check before the game, Moy made a comment on her bra size. Guirado stood before her only wearing his underwear.
Both incidents elicited laughter from the rest of the team.
Ramos is a FIFA official who played the role of commissioner during the FIFA-sanctioned international friendly. She is also the daughter of former president Fidel V. Ramos.
Palami said they met with her to discuss what happened.
He said, “We will not put off the investigation even as we prepare for a major tournament. I will sit down with my players and staff and get to the bottom of this.”
He apologized to Ramos on behalf of the team “for the distress this situation has caused her.”
In his statement, Palami said, “In my personal experience of the usual goings-on in the men’s locker room, the tension, excitement and nervous energy before a match often result in a lot of boisterous bantering. For someone who walks into this situation, this might appear as bordering on disrespect. But again, I am speaking only from my personal experience.”
Sexual harassment, he said, should not be tolerated in any situation. “I will look into the circumstances of this alleged incident and cooperate with any investigation. If it is proven that there was in fact malicious intent, I will make sure that proper sanctions are meted out,” Palami said.
Moy, who is in Nepal for the AFC Challenge Cup with the team, turned to Twitter to comment on the allegations against him. He did not confirm nor deny the accusations.
Moy's girlfriend, Cooper Browning, defended her partner, tweeting through her account, @CooperMadison. On the day the news broke, Browning said, "I am shocked and appalled by the news... In the 6 yrs I have been w @LextonMoy he would never make such a comment."
She expressed her dismay again a day later, tweeting, "Still so saddened at the thought of anyone thinking @LextonMoy would ever say anything to make them uncomfortable. He has the biggest heart!"
Guirado has yet to comment. - Rappler.com