Vargas reaches out to Peping
As transition to the new Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) leadership begins Monday, newly elected president Ricky Vargas intends to reach out to his predecessor Jose “Peping” Cojuangco.
“I really hope that Peping will be part of the turnover,” said Vargas. “It shows unity and it’s a good start. I will give Peping his due. He will be recognized properly.”
Cojuangco’s fourth term was cut short following a court-ordered election where Vargas handily won, 24-15, on Friday. But the 83-year-old Tarlac lawmaker will still have a seat in the POC executive board as its immediate past president.
Vargas also hopes to resolve bigger problems like the leadership disputes among several national sports associations and the declining performance of Filipino athletes.
“In the immediate future, we’re looking at the Filipino athletes to be competitive,” Vargas, who turned 66 on Saturday, said during his thanksgiving dinner. “We have to work with the private sector.”
Business tycoon and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas chair emeritus Manny V. Pangilinan already pledged P20 million as seed money for the POC.
Other sports patrons who also got in touch with Vargas include San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua and Lamoiyan Corp. president Cecilio K. Pedro who wants to help swimming.
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