“It is recognized that mother organiza- tion of all the National Sports Association (NSAs) in the Philippines is the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), it must be emphasized however that the POC is a mere private and non-governmental organization. Just like any private corporation established and existing under the laws of the Philippines, the State can, and in some instance, should interfere in the concept of a good father of the family (bonus pater familias), if the private entity status is used to commit a breach or a violations of laws, to deprive citizens of their rights to due process of law or in any way to oppress individuals, the PSC must regulate this private organization.
In this particular instance, for decades, the members of the swimming community have clamored for the removal of Mark Joseph and to sanction the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSi), association for swimming by the POC President, Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco. However, the latter never moved a finger to replace Mark Powell Joseph, as he is one of those who sits with them and has full knowledge of the doings of the POC.
Interference by the government in the affairs of a private entity is therefore justified as it involves protection of rights of individuals and the issues involved are tainted with national interest.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), on the other hand, was created by legislative fiat (Republic Act 6847). Under its Implementing Rules and Regulations (adopted on May 22, 2008), it is given the power to investigate and conduct inquiry to written complaints/grievances filed against national sports association submitted for mishandling of financial assistance and intra-corporate conflicts, among others. It is also given the power to file the appropriate legal action to protect its interest against misappropriation of financial assistance granted to NSAs.
At the end of the day, all told, only under the administration of President, His Excellency Rodrigo R. Duterte, we expect the PSC to bring about the above changes in Philippine Sports. We are confident that President Duterte can put an end to this vicious cycle of corruption, patronage, politics and power play in Philippine sports. It is the President’s commitment to the country to get rid of corrupt individuals receiving funding from the government.
To guide our actions in effecting these changes, we can perhaps refer to these simple and clear provision under Article XIV, Section 19 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which states: ‘The state shall promote physical education and encourage sports programs, league competitions and amateur sports, including training for international competitions, to foster self-discipline, teamwork and excellence for the development of a healthy and alert citizenry.’
Under the Constitution of the Philippines, Bill of Rights Article III Section I states: ‘No person shall be deprived of Life, Liberty or property with due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of law.’
Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 6847, otherwise known as the Philippine Sports Commission Act. Rule 1. Section 4. Construction. These implementing Rules and Regulations shall be liberally construed to carry out the objectives of the Constitution and the Philippine Sports Commission Act. Any doubt in the interpretation and implementation of these Rules shall be resolved by the Commission in accordance with its mandate to provide leadership and set priorities and direction for all national amateur sports promotion and development as provided in the Act.
The Constitution of the Philippines is the supreme law of the land. No law can be above the Constitution. The Constitution is also meant to establish government authority and protect the welfare of the Filipino people, it is significant to state that the government authority in sports of this land is the Philippine Sports Commission.
From above, the POC and its NSA in swimming is in violation what is within the Constitution of the Philippines, thus with all due respect, the PSL’s aspirations to see under the new PSC Chairman and Commissioners the pertinent points that be considered in swimming, stated as follows:
A. The biggest issue is discrimination.
B. The basic requirements of justice and fair play in choosing Philippine national team members to SEA Games, Asian Games and Olympics as the PSC role in Philippine sports is vested in public interest and involves the use of public funds.
C. Swimming and all other sports must be inclusive as mandated by law.
The PSL believes that the PSC, the government sports agency as mandated by law, will rise high to the call of fair play, justice and due process of law.
Under PSC Chairman William Ramirez, we believe this administration can end political patronage and reconstitute the foundation of Philippine sports and prays that PSC as mandated under the law, to sanction Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and Philippine Swimming, Inc (PSi) and its officials for mismanagement and corruption”, as stated in RA. 6847 Section 11(m).”