Memo to MVP: Revolt brewing at POCBy Recah Trinidad
Philippine Daily Inquirer
An outright power grab, a coup, was unthinkable.
But, just the same, there has always been this urgent clamor for positive leadership change in the Philippine Olympic Committee.
This call reached an acute point after another scandalous performance by Team Philippines, headed by POC president Peping Cojuangco Jr., in the recent London Olympics.
The decay and utter mediocrity in Philippines sports, aggravated under Cojuangco, had not only resulted in disenchantment among faithful supporters of the Filipino athlete.
The perennial debacles had disillusioned and turned away countless young talents from pursuing noble full-time sports involvement for the country.
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Naturally, there next came silent demands for Cojuangco, branded as lazy and inept, to do the honorable thing by stepping down with his grizzled retinue to give way to competent and responsible sportsmen.
Cojuangco, under fire, refused to budge.
The foxy full-time politician instead offered power sharing with the highly respected tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan. Cojuangco asked MVP to team up with him as his chair in the next POC polls.
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Did Cojuangco honestly think Mr. Pangilinan would bite?
The overstaying POC head was grossly mistaken.
There next came reports Cojuangco had also offered to junk his henchmen in the dreaded POC clique to accommodate MVP.
MVP refused to even react.
As could be expected, Pangilinan was himself requested to challenge for the POC top post.
MVP kept his cards close to his chest.
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A guy most relieved at MVP’s refusal to team up with Cojuangco was athletics president Go Teng Kok.
Go said MVP joining the Cojuangco gang would’ve been tantamount to subsidizing a scandal.
Anyway, there followed a suspenseful stretch.
With no positive developments as the POC polls neared, Go Teng Kok stood tall and offered to revolt.
He officially declared yesterday he’s challenging Cojuangco. (See related story on Page A23)
Announced Go: “I’m mulling to run for POC president come November this year. Peping Cojuangco must accept my challenge. He must not resort to the technicalities he authored to disqualify opponents like me.”
Go said he had heard Cojuangco would disqualify him from the race because he has been declared a persona non grata in the POC.
“I will secure a temporary restraining order (TRO),” Go said. “I may not win in his dirty tactics game but at least I’ve let people know Peping has been doing nothing for 8 years and yet he still wants another term to prolong the agony of PH sports.”
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Is there anything that could dissuade him from running?
“Yes, of course. Mr. Manny Pangilinan. I know he himself is disturbed over the anomalous conduct of affairs at the POC. Otherwise, he would’ve acceded to Cojuangco’s offer to share power.”
You want to send a message to MVP?
“We will be honored, greatly gratified and relieved if you would agree to run for POC president. With your record and unblemished dedication to sports, you’d be a sure winner.”
Does GTK believe MVP would have any need for the POC presidency?
“Of course, he doesn’t need it anymore. But he’s the only one who could rescue Philippine sports from the grip of these gangsters.”
Evil in Philippines sports stands no chance against MVP, GTK exclaimed.
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(COMPETENT & COMMITTED: Two of the most competent and committed newsmen we had the luck of having worked with passed on one after the other in a span of ten days. Premier broadcaster Jun “Bote” Bautista and the quiet but effective basketball expert Butch Maniego will be sorely missed. We are poorer here over press row. Thanks for the fruitful friendships, sirs.)
More from this Column:
- What a class act by Alaska
- It’s a no-contest tune-up for Manny Pacquiao
- PBA has a big problem, no thanks to Ginebra
- An urgent pitch for Koko
- Pardon the extortion, please