Cojuangco pledges three programs for 3rd POC termBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Expansion of the pool of world-class national athletes; a fixed term for Philippine Sport Commission officials; and the construction of a long-overdue training center.
Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. said he will concentrate on these three programs if he wins a third term as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee on Nov. 30.
The POC executive board has tapped the same cast of election committee members who presided over the previous polls in 2008.
So far, there’s no challenger for Cojuangco, who will turn 78 on Sept. 19, for the post he first won in 2004 by acclamation.
“I don’t know if there’s a challenger,” he said. “But it’s important for me to be given another chance, especially now that the future of sports looks bright.”
The names of Manny Lopez, the POC’s first vice president, and Ricky Vargas, head of the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines, have been floated as Cojuangco’s poll rivals.
If no one challenges Cojuangco, an uncle of President Aquino, he will get a fresh four-year mandate, also by acclamation.
“We have to build up the competitiveness of our athletes and make them world-class,” said Cojuangco. “It can be done if we have a training center. Sadly, I don’t have a training center, although I’ve been asking for it for years.”
Cojuangco also reiterated the need for PSC officials to have a fixed term so they could oversee long-range programs.
“It’s difficult to make a long-range program. How can you do it if you constantly change its leadership?” said Cojuangco, noting that PSC officials normally stay a maximum of four years in office.
Former Misamis Oriental representative Victorico Chavez, Ateneo’s Ricky Palou and Bro. Bernie Oca of La Salle, who handled the previous POC exercise, have been asked again to serve as the Comelec.
In 2008, Cojuangco won on a 21-19 vote over shooting’s Art Macapagal.