Ramirez tells POC: smoke peace pipe
Philippine Sports Commission Chair Butch Ramirez has stepped into the crossfire between the warring parties in the Philippine Olympic Committee executive board, urging everyone to smoke the peace pipe for the sake of the country’s hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
But that’s as far as he will venture into the war zone.
Ramirez, “after some moment of introspection,” declined the offer to take on the role as chef de mission (CDM) for the Philippine delegation to the Southeast Asian Games that the country will host.
“As the Chairman of the PSC, I call upon all our sports leaders to step back and take a moment to consider peaceful interactions,” said Ramirez on Tuesday, a day after the tumultuous POC general assembly that left the Olympic body in disarray.
POC president Ricky Vargas, fed up with the “destabilization” plot against his administration, hit back at his detractors in a privilege speech on Monday before virtually relieving them of their posts.
POC first vice president Joey Romasanta, whose appointment as CDM for the Olympics was revoked, denied his group was engaged in a destabilization plot, but called for an out-of-schedule elections in the middle of the country’s preparations for the SEA Games.
Romasanta said his group merely wanted to be enlightened on the dealings of Vargas with the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc).
Vargas, saying he was tired of all the politics in the POC, agreed to an earlier polls but said Romasanta and his group would have to wait until January 2020 so the SEA Games preparations and hosting will not be disrupted.
Vargas likewise removed Robert Bachmann of squash as chair of the POC membership committee and recalled the appointments of SEA Games chef de mission Monsour Del Rosario and deputy CDM Charlie Ho.
POC chair Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino offered Ramirez the CDM for the SEA Games.
“After some moment of introspection, and to finally put to rest all speculations, I now issue this statement to humbly and officially decline the offer. Thank you very much for considering this humble servant,” said Ramirez, the CDM during the 2005 Manila SEA Games.
“I am a public servant. I am bound by duty to deliver what is demanded of me by the law. Whether or not I am the CDM in the SEA Games, I and the PSC will surely provide our full and sincere support to Team Philippines,” he added.
“I still believe we can all sit down and civilly thresh out what needs to be straightened out. The PSC is open to host a dialogue between parties and provide neutral ground for everyone to air their side and ultimately to either sacrifice or step up in the interest of a unified sporting community,” said Ramirez.
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