Dreamin’ of a heroic POC Christmas
The suggested theme tune for this very cluttered period in Philippine sports should’ve been titled “Dreamin’ of a Peping-less Philippine Olympic Committee Christmas.”
There’s this urgent clamor to have former Congressman Jose Cojuangco, plain Peping to Pinoy sports enthusiasts, kicked out of the Philippine Olympic Committee, over which he has lorded the past 12 years, as its most unproductive three-time president.
Election is set Nov. 25, and Cojuangco, often pictured as a tyrant and villain on the Philippine sports centerstage, appeared headed for another trouble-free run.
This is a season begging for real heroes. But by the odd look of things, Cojuangco, who reportedly succeeded in making a dear ally, a top politician in Makati City, coerce Peping’s rich would-be POC rival four years ago out of the race, has been setting out for another unopposed re-election.
Ricky Vargas of the Association of Boxing Alliances of the Philippines filed his candidacy on Monday, and his fate, now in the hands of the POC election committee, could be known within the week.
There’s a growing regrettable view in sports circles that Vargas’ heroic bid would be thumbed down, based on his failure to be physically present in majority of the POC General Assembly sessions.
Actually, concerned leaders, headed by the respected sports development guru Dr. Aparicio Mequi, were not about to delude themselves Cojuangco would suffer a sudden attack of humility and agree to drop out of the POC race and give way to dream urgent reforms in Philippine sports.
In fact, Dr. Mequi has caused the UniGames, biggest collegiate athletic league in the country, to adopt a manifesto demanding on members of the “POC that they will exert all efforts and utilize all means to conduct an open, free, just and democratic election.”
The top national collegiate league with 40 of the high educational institutions all over the country, and headed by president Roger Banzuela, opened its 20th edition in Dumaguete City on Monday.
Vargas, who has vowed to resign as head of Maynilad and spearhead nationwide sports rehabilitation, has urged Cojuangco to push through with the election.
“Cojuangco is not allowing us to run. It’s unreasonable. If you look at their self-imposed rule, it’s only their group that would qualify,” Vargas said.
Anyway, it goes without saying that Vargas et al. would go to the court if Cojuangco maintains his villainous stand. It could be the last hope for us sports lovers to have a heroic, reformative Christmas in the Philippine Olympic Committee.
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