FINANCIAL assistance to the Philippine Karatedo Federation is suspended immediately.
These are among the measures that the Philippine Sports Commission is taking following complaints by members of a 14-man national karatedo team that went to Germany before the 2017 Southeast Asian Games for training.
The karate athletes alleged that they did not fully receive their allowances during their 20-day training stint.
Officials of the Philippine Karatedo Federation reportedly made the athletes sign for only $400 of the allotted $1,800 for each of the 14 members of the national squad.
A probe into the allegations by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation started last Thursday.
The agents are now interrogating athletes, coaches and PKF officials to find out what happened to funds amounting to around P3.217 million.
The money was supposed to be spent for the seminars and tournaments joined by the team, plus accommodations, meals and allowances among other things, while the national squad was in Germany from July 20 to Aug. 9.
“This is government money. We are very particular about this. We would like to implement the law,” said PSC chairman William “Butch” Ramirez after emerging from a board meeting at the Philsports Complex in Pasig.
While the probe is going on, PSC executive director Sanna Privaldo will also lead a five-man task force that will also look into the case and cooperate with investigators of the NBI.
PKF officials and coaches are now banned from the athletes’ dormitories and are restricted and disallowed from interacting with karatedo athletes, who have filed their complaints.
Ramirez explained that the national athletes involved are not under investigation, but the officials and coaches who are being questioned by the NBI and the task force.
The PSC chief also asked all NSAs to upgrade their list of athletes and coaches, who are deserving to be given financial assistance.
Meanwhile, PKF secretary general Raymund Lee-Reyes, who also went to Germany, has filed a leave of absence, according to PKF president Joey Romasanta.
Lee-Reyes told Romasanta of his decision during a preliminary probe the other day.
“I am hoping that the fact-finding process will be expedited soonest,” said Romasanta.
Investigations got under way early this week after a letter was submitted to the PSC, discussing allegations forwarded by karate team skipper Eugene Stoner Dagohoy.
Among those who went to Germany were Ireneo Soriano Jr., Mae Soriano and Jayson Macalalang.