Press Release
December 9, 2019

PH arnis team and Zubiri receive commendation from senators

Bagging more than 10 percent of the country's total gold medal haul in the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, the Philippine National Arnis Team (PNAT) today received commendations from senators.

Their staunch supporter, Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri, was likewise given due recognition by his colleagues for his role in ensuring the success of the team, a resounding victory bringing in 20 medals -- 14 gold, four silver and two bronze.

Zubiri described PNAT's feat as heroic and historic, a matter that his colleagues couldn't agree more as the athletes turned out to be the most bemedaled Philippine team in the biennial event.

Senate Resolution No. 240 taking into consideration Senate Resolution Nos. 243, 247, 249 and 252 noted the overwhelming success of the PNAT at the SEA Games.

"The PNAT will go down in history as the team that brought arnis back to great acclaim on an international stage, 14 years since the sport was last seen at the SEA Games," Senators Nancy Binay, Manuel "Lito" Lapid and Sonny Angara said in their respective resolutions.

The overwhelming success of the PNAT at the 30th SEA Games is an inspiring testament to the level of excellence that Filipino athletes can achieve, with proper government support, they said.

Senators said the men and women of PNAT not only brought pride and honor to the country but also reignited local and international interest and appreciation for the sport through their excellent showcase.

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III and Sen. Win Gatchalian co-sponsored the resolutions commending Zubiri's invaluable contribution to the sport and the whole arnis team, while Sen. Joel Villanueva led in sponsoring the resolutions congratulating PNAT.

"This win sealed our title as the overall champion," Sotto said in his sponsorship speech, referring to the Philippines' medal standing in the 30th SEA Games.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto and Minority Leader Franklin Drilon also gave due recognition to their colleague, a former arnis champion.

"I want to thank my colleagues for honoring me and the team. It is an honor for me to be given those accolades by the Senate President, Senate President Pro-Tempore and the Minority Leader," Zubiri said.

"It means a lot to me that the leadership and my peers recognize what we have done. But all that I have done is nothing as compared to what the players have done," he added.

Zubiri, a gold medallist in the Arnis World Championship of the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation in 1989, spearheaded in 2009 the passage of Republic Act 9850 or the Act Declaring Arnis as the National Martial Art and Sport of the Philippines.

He also founded the Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (PEKAF) in 2017 which strengthened the practice of arnis and unified arnissadors across the nation by hosting regional competitions and training camps to push them to excellence in preparation for international competitions.

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