ALVIN Aguilar, the newly elected president of the Wrestling Association of the Philippines (WAP) said that he would clean up the WAP of corrupt practices and would help stir the country to winning its first Olympic gold medal.
Aguilar, known as The Father of Philippine mixed martial arts and founder of the Universal Reality Combat Championship, said that the WAP was gripped by corruption during the tenure of its previous officers Aries Supremo (chairman), Karlo Sevilla (secretary general), Arvin Jimenez (treasurer) and Richard Ramos (auditor). Before Supremo’s tenure, Juan Arnold Balde resigned as WAP president.
“We replaced the old officers with those who we thought were honest but turned out that they were worse than the ones we replaced years ago,” Aguilar told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Monday.
“Now we will be on the right track for our country’s first Olympic gold medal,” he said.
Replying to Aguilar’s statement, Sevilla said that the group of Aguilar exploited their absence in Manila while they were at the Palarong Pambansa in Laguna on May 1 to 10, to hold an election.
“Nobody except their group was aware of the invitation and very impractical and inconvenient for our members to go straight to their election only two days after the Palaro,” Sevilla said via text message. “We are questioning the legality [of the election]and fighting it out.”
He added that that 24 of the 27 active national wrestling team members were surprised of the sudden changes in the WAP leadership.
Aguilar was elected WAP president on May 12, in Parañaque City along with Leonides Virata (vice president), Irwin Tieng (treasurer), Paolo Saycon (auditor) and former national wrestler Marcus Valda (secretary general).
Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) Secretary General Steve Hontiveros was the POC observer during the election. Aguilar’s presidency was recently recognized by the POC, headed by Jose Cojuangco Jr.