Getting rid of Go not the remedy | Inquirer Sports
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Getting rid of Go not the remedy

The Philippine Olympic Committee executive board which declared Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association president Go Teng Kok persona non grata is hell-bent on going after him.
Go had incurred the ire of POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr., chair Monico Puentevalla, and swimming’s Mark Joseph, among others. They have gathered signatures to expel Go for what was termed as “acts inimical to the members of the POC.”
Herein lies the obvious flaw—an indication of the personal agenda of the POC leaders and their vindictiveness.
If anything, the grounds for expulsion should be acts inimical to the POC itself or the Olympic movement. Acts inimical to individual members should never be a ground for expulsion.
The distasteful aspect of this whole episode is that when Go campaigned for Cojuangco against Arturo Macapagal in the last POC elections and helped Cojuangco win by one vote, he was rewarded by being named special assistant to the POC president.
However, when he started displeasing the leadership on certain issues, Go quickly fell out of grace.
The POC replaced him as karatedo president, claiming that being the head of two NSAs was a violation of the POC constitution. Fine. But how come Cojuangco, et al., tolerated this violation as long as he was seemingly on their side?
First, Cojuangco and his group pushed Joey Romasanta as karatedo head and then backed off. Then in what amounted to a rump election in Bacolod City, Enrico Vasquez was elected president.
Judge Rodolfo Bonifacio of the Regional Trial Court in Pasig, to whom Go turned to for justice, annulled the election of Vasquez and deputy president Emman Velez and restrained and enjoined them from functioning as president and vice president.
Reacting to Bonifacio’s decision, Cojuangco said “no law or court can interfere (in POC affairs)” and raised the bugaboo of suspension by the IOC “due to government interference.” The claim makes no sense at all. Russia and China, to name just two, control sports in their countries. Some countries have Ministers of Sports, including Indonesia where the Southeast Asian Games will be held in November.
Even IOC representative Frank Elizalde disagreed with Cojuangco on this issue.
If reports are true that Elizalde was one of those who signed the document expelling Go, it is both disappointing and improper. A representative of the IOC should be a neutral party.
If the expulsion of Go succeeds, it would mean that a lawful court order recognizing him as karatedo president would be overturned by a simple POC resolution.
Why is there an inordinate hurry to get rid of Go when, in a couple of months’ time, we will be competing in the SEA Games?
For the record, Go’s track and field athletes delivered the most number of medals for the Philippines in the last SEA Games in Laos and Patafa was voted by the Philippine Sportswriters Association as the Most Outstanding National Sports Association.
Yet the POC, at this late stage of preparations for the SEA Games, wants to expel Go in a move that is bound to create instability within the organization and among our athletes, many of whom are well looked after by Go.
It seems to us that a letter—in which Go requested IOC president Jacques Rogge to send a team to investigate alleged corruption, malversation of sports funds and other issues within the POC in which Cojuangco, Puentevella and others have been named in a case filed with the Ombudsman—sealed his fate.
Getting rid of Go is not the remedy. Answering the charges filed before the Ombudsman is what is demanded.

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TAGS: Frank Elizalde, Go Teng Kok, IOC, Joey Romanasanta, Jose "Peping" Cojuangco Jr., NSA, Patafa, POC, SEA Games, Sports, Swimming

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