Malacañang to athletes: Focus on training
Malacañang has no doubt that the Southeast Asian Games will proceed as scheduled despite the problems hounding the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), and it wants the athletes to believe the same thing too and focus solely on their performance in the biennial meet.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea addressed the country’s national athletes during Friday’s general assembly, exhorting them to look past the leadership vacuum in the POC.
“Let’s just concentrate on training. Don’t be disturbed by the problems of your leaders,” Medialdea said during the event at PhilSports Arena.
Philippine Sports Commission Chair Butch Ramirez said Medialdea was clearly “bothered by the situation. But I told him that the matter in the POC is purely internal.”
“The ES (executive secretary) is the extension of the President, who is clear on his directive to us to isolate the athletes and provide for their needs,” said Ramirez, also the PH chef de mission.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recently ordered the POC and its executive board to clear things up after it received two notices coming from two groups within the POC.
“This is, unfortunately, adding to the confusion to the existing situation,” said a letter penned by James Macleod, head of IOC Olympic solidarity and NOC relations.
Meanwhile, acting POC secretary general Charlie Ho said in a radio interview the problems of the POC centered on the “relationship and agreement that former POC president Ricky Vargas entered into [with the Phisgoc Foundation].”
Vargas was supposed to attend a POC board meeting convened to iron out electoral concerns but begged off after the IOC asked resigned officials to skip the event.
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