PH karate association releases statement on politicking accusation of Cebuano karateka

By: Mars G. Alison - CDN Digital | November 22,2019 - 12:58 PM

 

Cebuano Karateka Orencio James “OJ” delos Santos (second from left) joins the the second leg of the 30th Southeast Asian Games Torch Run in Cebu City held last November 16, 2019. CDN Digital photo | Gerard Vincent Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The Karate Pilipinas, Inc. (KPI), the national sports association (NSA) that handles Philippine karate, has issued an official statement regarding allegations of non-inclusion of “deserving” athletes in the Philippine lineup for the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. 

The issue stemmed from a Facebook post of a member of the Philippine Karatedo team, Orencio James “OJ” delos Santos, a Cebuano  based in Manila, who claimed that he had been left out of the Philippine SEA games lineup because of politics.

“KPI is the NSA that is tasked to make the selection for karate. Part of what comprises this arduous task in the selection is TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE, ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE and ATTITUDE or MINDSET.  Like any other selection process, it is always unfortunate that some athletes do not make the cut,” part of the statement read.

“The selection process was independently performed by the coaches as they have first hand knowledge on the performances of each and every athlete in the national pool of karatekas,” it added.

“The coaches have spoken and made their selection based on the criteria they adopted, and not based on personalities who may feel popular or important. This decision deserves respect.”

Delos Santos is a six-time gold medalist in the Philippine National Games (PNG) and a bronze medalist in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

According to Delos Santos’ FB post, he was one of those who had testified on the corruption allegations of the previous karate NSA, the Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF), which resulted to the formation of a new karate NSA, the KPI.

However, Delos Santos said the outcome was not the change that he was expecting.

“Sorry to say, the change I was expecting to see, didn’t happen. The only CHANGE is them CHANGING ME,” stated Delos Santos in his FB post.

He further stated that he was “singled out” and left out of training abroad and had to pay for his own training in Japan leading to the SEA Games.

He also claimed that KPI had conducted an “orchestrated” evaluation and replaced him with someone who refused to go up against him in the PNG.

Delos Santos was among the torch bearers in the the second leg of the 30th Southeast Asian Games Torch Run  held in Cebu City on November 16, 2019. He was joined by Andrew Kim Remolino, who will be competing in the triathlon; Tomas Romualdez, downhill skater; and fellow karateka Sarah Pangilinan. Delos Santos, though, was the only one who was not competing in this year’s meet.

Read: 6000 Cebuanos join Cebu leg of 2019 SEA Games Torch Run

Here is the full statement of KPI:   

 “TO PUT TO REST THE ISSUE ON NON-PARTICIPATION OF SOME KARATEKAS IN THE SEAGAMES

In any international competition, any participating country must engage in a  stringent selection process to determine who from a pool of national athletes will represent it. KPI is the NSA that is tasked to make the selection for karate. Part of what comprises this arduous task in the selection is TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE, ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE and ATTITUDE or MINDSET.  Like any other selection process, it is always unfortunate that some athletes do not make the cut. 

In KPI, the selection process was independently performed by the coaches as they have first hand knowledge on the performances of each and every athlete in the national pool of karatekas. They monitor also the mindset and attitude of the athletes to see how they approach their discipline. These coaches are beyond reproach and qualified in their respective fields. In fact they have been accredited by no other than the Philippine Sports Commission. More on the point, these coaches are likewise accredited by the Asian and World Federations of Karate. 

The SEA Games is getting closer by the day and at this point the pressure is mounting as well. It is even a bigger pressure for us since we are hosting the games and it is for this same reason that we understand the athletes’ lamentations as to why they do not make the cut. Emotions always run high in these kinds of selection processes. 

Emotions aside, the coaches have spoken and made their selection based on the criteria they adopted, and not based on personalities who may feel popular or important. This decision deserves respect. And the KPI will not interfere nor pressure the coaches in the selection process to accommodate athletes who did not make the cut. 

And based on the outcome of the selection process, these athletes deserve to be given the chance to represent the country in the coming SEA Games and, most importantly, our support. 

Mabuhay ang Atletang Pilipino.” /bmjo

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