The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) is appalled by the news about the act of sexual harassment committed by the Philippine Azkals against Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Cristina “Cristy” Ramos during a protocol pre-game inspection last week.
PCW takes to heart this excerpt from a letter by Ramos:
"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. He could not have been talking about men's athletic cups, as their sizes are specified as extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large vis-a-vis cup sizes of women's brassieres, which are specified in letters. 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." (Published in abs-cbnnews.com, philstar.com, sunstar.com)
The Azkals team, acting as the Philippine national football team at that time in a friendly match with Malaysia, was duty-bound to represent the best of Filipino demeanor but apparently failed even before the game had started.
The Philippines has been known internationally as a strong advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment. The country is a signatory to important international human rights instruments, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), now translated in Philippine law as the Magna Carta of Women, a comprehensive law that also ensures the safety and well-being of all women and girls participating in sports. Its protection of women against discrimination extends to violations committed by private corporations, entities and individuals.
With this mandate, PCW fully supports POC President Cristina Ramos’ decision to file a case of sexual harassment, and criticizes the offensive behavior of the two (2) Azkals team members and nonchalant behavior of the other members present during the incident.