MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Former Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Cristy Ramos lodged a sexual harassment complaint against Azkals players Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado over an incident that took place last Wednesday.
|Daughter of former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos, Cristina Ramos Jalasco
In a complaint filed with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Disciplinary Committee, Ramos said the episode happened shortly before the international friendly game between the Philippine Azkals and the Malayan Tigers where she served as the match commissioner.
"As I called the players individually so that we could check their accreditation cards and kits, Philippine player LEXTON MOY (no. 25) stood by my right side and said in a loud voice “Must be a B cup,” to which the players laughed loudly. As I was the only female in the room, he was apparently referring to my bra size,” said Ramos in the letter addressed to AFC Disciplinary Chair Lim Kia Tong.
“Additionally when I checked Philippine player ANGEL GUIRADO (no. 12) he stood in front of me purposely just wearing his briefs and made no attempts to wear shorts or cover his underwear. Again, the players loudly laughed while I was checking this player,” she added.
Ramos, daughter of former President Fidel V. Ramos, said the incident took place while she was conducting a pre-match inspection.
She added that team manager Dan Palami and Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss were not present at that time.
Palami has apologized on behalf of the team.
“On behalf of the team, I sincerely apologize to Commissioner Ramos for the distress this situation has caused her,” Palami said in a statement.
He, however, said the players were possibly having a pre-game banter to motivate themselves ahead of the game.
“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,” said Palami.
Nevertheless, he said the Azkals management and the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) are already looking into the incident.
“Like Commissioner Ramos, I also believe that sexual harassment 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.
PFF President Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said the federation will follow whatever decision AFC Disciplinary Committee issues.
“The process is they will invite the players concerned, ask for their side, then issue a ruling,” said Araneta. “The ruling then will be immediately enforced by the federation.”
“Whatever the ruling is, the aggrieved party can appeal their case to the appeals committee. If they are not satisfied, they may bring their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sports,” explained the PFF chief.
The ruling could affect the Azkals' campaign in the upcoming 2012 AFC Challenge in Nepal.
The team left for Kathmandu on Friday to begin their acclimatization process ahead of the tournament.