Senator Miguel Zubiri assured that the host country the Philippines is upholding its integrity in judging the athletes competing for the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
To prove that the judges are having fair with other competitors, Zubiri mentioned a case where a Filipino athlete was stripped of a victory in Arnis after the jurors reviewed the protest made by the camp of Cambodia.
After reviewing the fight carefully, the judges saw that the opponent of Yalong, Veannsonita Si, made more effective blows than the Filipino athlete.
“Lumapit sila sa akin and they wanted to question the result. Bilang host country, kailangang ipakita natin na patas tayo. We’re fair. Pati ako, nakita ko, medyo dehado yung ating atleta. So I said, ‘let’s take it to the jury’. I-replay natin yung fight. Mayroon tayong system, na kapag may protesta, iri-replay yung fight, bibilangin in slow motion. Unanimous, panalo yung taga-Cambodia,” said Zubiri.
According to Zubiri, Cambodia is “hesitating” to file a protest, however, the Senator encouraged them.
He pointed out that like the Filipino athletes, other nations also prepared for the 2019 SEA Games so they should be given fair treatment.
“I’m happy for them. Naghirap rin silang mag-training ng ilang buwan at pumunta dito. Ayaw kong sabihin nila na Lutong Macau ang Pilipinas. Walang Lutong Macau dito. Let’s take it as sportsmen and women. Kapag talo, talo. Kapag panalo, panalo,” said Senator Zubiri.
“In this case, nanalo yung Cambodia and I’m happy for them. We want to show that this sport is fair, our judging is fair. There’s a protest system that we’re using, we have our playback system. Makikita talaga kung panalo or talo. We let the system work. We checked it on the play back system and we had our board of jurors who checked it out at nakita talaga, panalo si Cambodian. So let’s give it to her.”
He also has a message to Yalong, who got devastated by the reversal of the decision.
“I didn’t have a chance to talk to her (Eza). Pero alam mo, ako naging atleta rin ako. Even if manalo ako at hindi mo deserved, masakit rin yun. Hindi ka makakatulog. Gusto mong lapitan yung kalaban mo at sabihin sa kanya na you won. This is martial arts. Honor system yan,” said Zubiri.
It was reported that Yalong still couldn’t believe that she lost her match against Si.
“I was not properly informed of what happened. Feeling ko ako talaga yung nanalo,” said Yalong.