PH Taekwondo probes Ateneo Junior High School bullying incident
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Philippine Taekwondo Association (PTA) is launching its own investigation to confirm if the Ateneo de Manila Junior High School bully is a taekwondo practitioner after videos of him using martial arts to hurt others circulated online.
"The PTA has formed an ad hoc committee to investigate and deliberate on the issue. [The] decision will be released after the deliberation and review of the ad hoc committee," Ateneo taekwondo program head Jobet Morales told Rappler. "
Morales – who was a former national team coach – is working closely with the National Sports Association (NSA) regarding the bullying issue.
According to the official, the decision to strip a young taekwondo jin of his belt would require strict deliberation as he admitted that he has not encountered any precedent case similar to this.
"Decisions on sanctions, if any, would be dependent on the findings of the committee with utmost consideration for the fundamental values and rules of the association," added Morales.
"Rest assured that the PTA is handling this with utmost urgency and importance."
In a statement, the national federation wrote that it respects Ateneo's disciplinary action on the implicated student, and the sanctions from PTA itself will soon follow.
"We, the Philippine Taekwondo Association, condemn any form of behavior which includes harassment, bullying, and acts of violence. This is not what taekwondo instills in its practitioners and is a serious matter that we as an association stand against," read the statement.
"Modesty is one of the five tenets of Taewkondo that is being taught to all taekwondo practitioners from the first day of training. Our association reiterates its objective to teach all Taekwondo practitioners self-respect and respect for others."
Netizens have changed their Facebook profile photos to the bully's picture which showed him wearing a dobok – the uniform worn by Korean martial artists – which suggested that he is a young taekwondo athlete.
Commenters have suggested stripping the young taekwondo jin of his belt based on what's seen on the video.