Limpag: A crucial moment in Philippine sports

Mike T. Limpag

TODAY, the general assembly of the Philippine Olympic Committee will meet in a decisive gathering that could change the course of Philippine sports.

Or keep it on the same dreary path headed by the same old folks who want nothing else but to perpetuate themselves in power.

The International Olympic Committee told the POC to resolve its internal dispute and to convene a general assembly, making sure that all parties concerned will be present and heard. Peping Cojuangco, ever the astute politician, has won the last two elections thanks to a friendly Comelec that disqualified contenders for one reason or the other.

Peping and his group has long batted that the government shouldn’t intervene in sports but in the Philippine setting, that doesn’t hold true because for decades now, the government agency and the POC have worked together--that it wasn’t always for the betterment of Philippine sports may be moot for now. But still, that means that POC cannot function without government support, so why does it keep on harping no to government interference when it’s convenient for them?

Because right now, only interference from the government has forced the POC to address its internal disputes and has forced the IOC to order the POC to make sure all parties (Vargas, et. al.) will be heard in the general assembly.

Peping’s camp has been busy and the president of the NSA for shooting—a Vargas ally—found himself out of office after a hostile takeover led by the seemingly immortal Chavit Singson. I won’t be surprised if other pro-Vargas NSAs will have new officers before noon today.

So what now can the PSC do? Well, two can play the game. Almost everyone in sports think that the NSA presidents support Peping because they get something in exchange. Given that presumtion, then all the PSC has to do is check which NSA will help Peping stay in power after the general assembly and go through their finances with a finetooth comb.

Check everything and anything.

Two can play the power game. And should the PSC find anything amiss, it must withdraw support until such NSA financial status is in order. Look at what’s happening at the NSA of staunch Peping ally, Joey Romasanta. The PKF is in such a mess because Romasanta never cared for his sport, only his position in the POC.

I hope, for once, the leaders of the NSA will find the courage to stand up for Philippine sports in today’s general assembly.