Mendoza: Long overdue

Al S. Mendoza

FINALLY, Butch Ramirez is angry.

It means Butch has started to throw his weight around, which is absolutely the straight path for any well-meaning leader to take at all times.

Over the weekend, Butch warned the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) to resolve its leadership crisis or face consequences of the Philippine Sports Commission withholding funding support not only to the POC but to all national sports associations (NSAs) as well.

Very timely as Butch blew the siren just days before the Feb. 23 election for POC president pitting incumbent Jose “Peping” Cojuangco and boxing chief Ricky Vargas.

Long time coming.

“They should resolve the crisis,” Butch said in a statement. “If not, the government will stop funding if they continue to be divided.”

As Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) head, Butch has rights to scold NSA and POC officials, including Cojuangco himself.

If he thinks they are remiss in their duties as leaders in their respective territories, Butch must remind them quick about it.

As PSC head, Butch is actually the main source of strength of our Philippine sports as he holds the purse binding not only all our athletes but the officials themselves as well.

If he thinks some of our NSA officials—if not all of them—are into some hanky panky in the handling of funds (whatever happened to the National Bureau of Investigation probe of alleged money anomalies in the Philippine Karatedo Federation?), Butch can step in anytime to straighten out matters.

Clothed by law to dispense money with due diligence, Butch should safeguard public funds with his own life. Since PSC money is government money, it follows that that money is ultimately people’s money.

In his strongly-worded statement, Butch said: “The government has the right to protect itself from unacceptable behavior and acts…by the POC. [The lack of unity among sports officials] has no place in a democratic society and should not be tolerated.”

Fighting words long overdue.

For, indeed, it’s about time Butch imposed an iron-fisted policy in dealing with errant officials.

Why give money at all to non-performing officials, athletes?

Hey, Butch. Our officials have been acting child-like for the longest time. Start throwing the book at them. Hit them where it hurts most: Withdraw financial support.