MVP-Peping tandem only on paper?By Beth Celis
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MY CELL PHONE was ringing very early Saturday morning.
Too drowsy to talk at such an hour, I let the phone ring and went back to sleep, although I must admit I was curious to find out who was calling and for what purpose.
When the phone rang again after some time, I was fully awake and eager to chat.
The caller was an NSA head who likes to send lengthy text messages about his favorite subject .
The subject: Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr.
The NSA head had called to find out why I had not written anything about the forthcoming POC elections this November when almost all sports columnists of the major papers already had.
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“Even those whom we perceive as his media allies have lambasted Peping Cojuangco for having failed to contribute anything good to Philippine sports after eight years of tenure. How could he have the temerity to run for another term when all we can look forward to is another four years of nothing,” the NSA head said.
“And he’s doing everything in an attempt to ensure victory in the November polls. For example, he told the press that he had offered to team up with businessman Manny Pangilinan in the POC elections. He will run for reelection as president, while Manny will be his running mate as chair. The word they’re spreading is that Manny will consent to this team up only if Peping agrees to certain terms and conditions.”
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Even before that early morning call from the NSA head, I had been trying to figure out what to expect in the November elections. I had been hearing and reading conflicting reports and am at a loss on how to put the pieces together.
To start with, no one can tell for sure if Abap president and MVP’s most trusted business associate Ricky Vargas is running for president against Cojuangco, if reports floating around are to be taken seriously.
Or is it Manny Lopez? There is also word that if Vargas runs, he will have the full support and resources of sports philanthropist MVP, the man on top of Meralco, Maynilad, PLDT, NLEX, Smart and other companies.
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From what I hear, Cojuangco will not run out of opponents. If Vargas and Lopez do not run against him there are others from various camps who are willing to challenge him. There is a loud clamor for change that has to be addressed once and for all, and Peping, the President’s uncle, is not doing Philippine sports any good at all.
At this point, we’re hearing only one side of the coin, Peping’s. Trying to get some feedback on the reported tandem of MVP and Peping, I was told that the offer was made only through the papers.
“It’s an old political ploy to give people the impression that he (Peping) and MVP are partners, when in reality they could be on opposite poles,” said a senior colleague.
From what I gathered, MVP will be meeting this coming week with his sports people to discuss the vital issues surrounding the POC. MVP may not be interested in the POC per se, but Philippine sports is an entirely different matter. The two happen to be intertwined.
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