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Thursday August 16, 2018

Limpag: The other shoe and Romasanta

AN invitation to the opening of the Visayas Open gave me the chance to talk with Commissioner Ramon Fernandez of the Philippine Sports Commission regarding the status of karatedo in the Philippines. Though I get tagged in social media posts--not by Mon, but by others--regarding updates of the case or those of other events, I don’t pay much attention to those as I prefer a one-on-one interview.

It was in a lull during the yearend press conference of the PSC last December when I learned about how the PSC was helping the seven karatekas get to the bottom of the financial scandal that would soon rock the sport. I figured, what better way to get an update but through another “side conference” of a PSC conference.

Unfortunately, Commissioner Mon wasn’t there but his executive assistant Boobi Kintanar connected us via phone. The updates are more than interesting.

Vicent Chen of the World Karatedo Federation dropped by to talk with local stakeholders and grilled PKF officials for minutes about their elections and general assembly, among others. They couldn’t give any because there was none.

It is interesting, though, that a new association is being formed to represent karatedo, one that would be more inclusive and transparent. It would have regional representation and clubs—regardless of affiliation—will be allowed to join. A few years ago, I got to talk to one karatedo official and I was told that their group wasn’t allowed to join the PKF because they happened to be affiliated with another group.

That will no longer be the case according to Mon, who added elections must be as transparent and as open as possible—meaning nothing of the old POC B.S. that barred now president Ricky Vargas. It is interesting that practices that should be the norm for an association has to be dictated by outside forces.

It is interesting to note that the last time a new association was formed to replace a new one, it also involved Joey Romasanta, the PKF president. But unlike the previous one, when Peping formed the LVPI to replace the PVF (NSA for volleyball), this was done to address an ill and is for the welfare of the sport.

The LVPI vs PVF intramural was simply an exercise over who gets to control the lucrative volleyball business, not for the sport. Proof, has LVPI ever expanded its presence outside the lucrative Manila leagues? I thought then that someday, somebody will do the same thing to Romasanta because that’s how sports in the Philippines is, those in power come and go. Well, it seems the shoe has fallen too quickly for Romasanta.


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