Dionisio Canete was an instrumental figure in the popularization of stickfighting, or arnis, as a competitive sport helping to formulate rules and develop safety equipment for the earliest tournaments in the 1970s and 1980s. He was named as the charter president of the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) on its founding in 1989. A lawyer in the Philippines, in 2017 he took the unusual step of asking the country's Supreme Court to delist him from the Attorney's Rolls over what he said was his disgust with corruption in the judiciary system. In 2019 he was arrested for "cyber libel" which, at the time, Canete said he believed stemmed from a Facebook post he made accusing several prosecutors of corruption.
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