Senator Pia Cayetano on Monday expressed her support for former Philippine Olympic Committee president Cristy Ramos on her complaint of sexual harassment against Philippine national football players Lexton Moy and Angel Guirado.
Cayetano, who chairs the Committee on Youth, Women, and Family Relations, also called for an investigation by Philippine sports officials on the incident that occured prior to the Azkals’ friendly match against Malaysia, for which Ramos served as the match commissioner.
“Sexual harassment must not be tolerated anytime, anywhere. Such acts should not go unpunished,” said Cayetano.
“I call for the immediate investigation of this incident so this can be put to rest, not only because this is a serious allegation made by Match Commissioner Cristy Ramos, who is a sports official, but also because the Azkals are looked up to by the youth as modern-day heroes and role models.”
“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,” said Ramos in her complaint to the Asian Football Confederation. “As I was the only female in the room, he was apparently referring to my bra size.”
“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.”
Cayetano also took to task the behavior of other Azkals members in the locker room while the incident happened.
“While only two Azkals were charged in the complaint, I am bothered by the revelation made in Ramos’ account that their teammates were even laughing as the two accused were making fun of her, and that no one made any effort to stop their [Moy and Guirado] offending acts and remarks,” said Cayetano, who also noted the irony of the complaint occuring during International Women’s Month.
“If I were in the shoes of Cristy Ramos, I would likewise feel extremely offended like any woman would be.”
Azkals team manager Dan Palami had already apologized to Ramos and promised a full investigation of the matter, while Moy expressed sadness over the issue.