The parents of the late young wushu athlete Rastafari Daraliay said the Philippine Sports Commission and the Wushu Federation of the Philippines weren’t remiss with their duties in relation to the death of their son.
The 11-year-old died after a freak accident at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex wushu dormitory late last month. He stayed on and off at the dorm for the past three years as requested by his parents, Vincent and Hazel Daraliay.
“They responded pretty well. Commissioner Butch Ramirez came on the first day of the wake of Rasta. The Wushu Federation was at the hospital when they rushed him to the hospital,” said Vincent on ANC’s “Hardball.” Vincent, Hazel and their daughter Zion was at ANC’s studio in ABS-CBN compound to talk about Rastafari’s death.
Rastafari fell off the top bunk of a double decker bed. He reportedly went back to sleep after telling his teammates he was OK, but never woke up.
Vincent Daraliay said the PSC and the Wushu Federation of the Philippines probed the incident and were satisfied with the explanations.
“On our side we are convinced that it was an accident. For us it was nobody's fault,” Daraliay said.
“PSC has responded when we asked what took them so long to take him to the hospital, why they used a taxi instead of the ambulance, they had an explanation for everything. They shouldered a big part of the burial expenses.”
But Daraliay acknowledged the agency could have done a bit more to prevent such accidents.
“Probably if they were a little bit more strict and they cared a little bit more on the safety of the athletes, especially the junior athletes. But we're relatively OK with the explanation they provided,” Daraliay said.
Vicent said he wants the PSC to look after the welfare of his daughter, Zion, also a wushu athlete. He said she is one of the reasons why the family maintained peace with the PSC.
“We could have burned bridges with the PSC or the wushu federation when this happened by just blaming them, but the problem is we have a daughter who is also an athlete. We asked her if she still wants to do it, she still wants to be an athlete,” he said.
“So we just wanted PSC and wushu federation na lang to just help us and probably before we send her back to training to make sure the place is safe for them for the junior athletes. That's all we're asking. They still have a dream to fulfill.”
Daraliay said they are also working on putting up an advocacy group in the name of Rastafari.
“It's gonna be called ‘RASTA’. After my son's name, it stands for Rastafari Advocacy for the Safety of Today's Athletes,” he said. “Basically we want to do something on the safety of athletes especially young athletes like my daughter.”
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)