Breaking the chain of corruption in Philippine sports

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SUSAN PAPA

As I said in my last column, it is the paramount duty of every Filipino to uphold the constitution and adhere to the country’s laws.

In sports, the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and its member National Sport Associations (NSAs) are not beyond the reach of the law.

Why the corruption?

First, WIDESPREAD APATHY. Apathy is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation or passion.


An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical, or physical life and the world.

This is the problem in Philippine sports. Very few people understand and give time to look closely at what is happening in sports.

Everybody should show concern to the state of Philippine sports, especially members of the Senate, House of Representatives, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the athletes themselves, parents of athletes, the media and all stakeholders.

Second, WEAK LEADERSHIP
In sports, the governing agency is the PSC, which was created under Republic Act 6847.

The PSC’s legal mandate is to serve as the “sole policymaking and coordinating body of all amateur sports development programs and institutions in the Philippines.” Its primary function is to provide leadership, formulate policies and set priorities and directions of all national sports promotion and development, giving emphasis on grassroots participation.

Clearly, the PSC is on top of the POC and NSAs.

Former PSC officials failed miserably to implement the law. Worse, the past PSC chairman was indebted to the uncle of former President Benigno Aquino 3rd, Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, the POC president.

Now that President Rodrigo Duterte is the president, the PSC chairman, William “Butch” Ramirez, and his commissioners must implement and enforce the law.

The POC and NSA have been violating the constitutional rights of many athletes but no one has dared to question them.

The new PSC administration must stop the corruption in Philippine sports now.

Third, DISTORTED VIEW AND MISUNDERSTANDING OF LAWS AND RULES.

The POC and NSAs have been misleading the public and twisting the rules, hiding under the ‘autonomous and the no government intervention policy.’

However, both agencies forget that their being autonomous can only exist if they are not violating any rules or not committing any crime.

The NSA in swimming, its president and officers have violated the constitutional rights of swimmers for their discriminatory and oppressive policies.

Even worse, graft and corruption is rife in the NSA, Philippine Swimming, Inc.

The warrant of arrest issued by the Sandiganbayan as shown in this column will show that crimes were committed by the swimming NSA president, Mark Powell Joseph, when its association took funds directly from PAGCOR.

Another warrant of arrest was issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court against Joseph for stopping Paul Jerome Carpio and other swimmers from participating in a swimming competition in Sabah, Malaysia.

The arrest warrants clearly show that the NSA in swimming is in violation of the law. The agency can no longer claim to be “autonomous” and thus, the state has to intervene, meaning the PSC must act.

The POC statement that government cannot intervene has no basis. There are violations of law committed in other sports like bowling, volleyball, dragon boat racing and others.

Fourthly, the UNABATED CULTURE OF PATRONAGE AND POLITICS.

This was made significant when POC president Cojuangco’s nephew became president of the land and named Ricardo Garcia as PSC chairman.

The corruption became more evident and must be stopped right now!

But the big question is how?

(To be continued)

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