PHILIPPINE Typhoons member OJ De Los Santos has finally spoken on the controversy that’s been hounding the Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF).
“I’m sure that a lot of you in the karate community are aware of the issue that’s going on. Five of my teammates and I are being accused of causing division and conflict; that we are the cause of why karate in the Philippines is having issues now,” De Los Santos said in a statement on his Facebook page.
Tired of being shortchanged in their training camp, De Los Santos and five of his other teammates from the Philippine Typhoons who competed in the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia decided to open up to Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner and basketball legend Mon Fernandez.
Fernandez and the PSC have asked the National Bureau of Investigation to step in and investigate the PKF last month.
“When we joined the national team, we were looking forward to these trainings and tournaments outside. However, we were only given one tournament every year. When it was a major tournament year, such as the SEA Games or the Asian Games, our training camps were scheduled only a month or weeks before the big event,” he said.
In a training camp for the SEA Games from July 20 to Aug. 8 in Germany, the PSC allotted a total of budget of P3,217,874.75. The 12 athletes in the camp, that includes De Los Santos, was supposed to get $1,800 each for the 20-day training camp but the karatekas only received €400 or around $470.
“This was not the first time our pocket allowance was not given to us. This happened during our previous training camps abroad. It was either an incomplete amount or none at all. This made us finally realize that we were not getting what was due to us. There has always been a budget all these years. So what happened to the budget meant for all the athletes? We are so tired of this cycle; we’ve had enough. The six of us finally decided to speak up. We are not just doing this for ourselves; we are doing this to save Philippine karate. We don’t want the next generation of athletes to experience this situation like we did.” (EKA)