AFP releases 117 athletes to national team
MANILA, Philippines—Soldier-athletes are bound to follow the guidelines that the Philippine Sports Commission will enforce once their detailed service has been turned over by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to the sports government agency.
PSC Chairman William Ramirez highlighted the importance of enlisted national team members complying with the agreement forged among the PSC, AFP, Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Paralympic Committee.
“They (soldier-athletes) have been turned over to sports through the PSC. They don’t just go fly anywhere without consulting us,’’ said Ramirez.
The PSC chief expressed his gratitude to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the Office of the Chief of Special Service, AFP for releasing 117 athletes and coaches from 22 sports recently as they prepare for the coming Tokyo Olympics and the Southeast Asian Games.
“Our athletes have to understand that as members of the armed forces, they have been entrusted to us once Secretary Lorenzana and their officers sign their detailed service (DS),’’ said Ramirez.
“Most of them probably don’t know that the PSC takes responsibility for them to secure their DS and we are very thankful to the AFP for that partnership,’’ added Ramirez.
Soldier-athletes and coaches from athletics (13), badminton (2), baseball (6), basketball (4), boxing (8), cycling (9), judo (2), kurash (1), lawn bowls (5), muay (3), obstacle course (1), rowing (6), sailing (5), sambo (1), sepak takraw (10), softball (7), swimming (6), table tennis (2), triathlon (2), weightlifting (6), wrestling (12) and para sports (6) have been released.
They are 58 athletes under the Philippine Air Force, 19 from the Philippine Army and 40 serving the Philippine Navy.
Ramirez said a memorandum of agreement covering the “management, development and training of identified and potential soldier-athletes’’ would be entered into by the PSC, POC, PPC and AFP on May 20.