Former Senator Nikki Coseteng and Philippine Swimming League (PSL) President Susan Papa slammed Philippine Aquatic Sports Association (PASA) President Mark Joseph for poor showing of the national swimming team in the recently concluded 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
“Swimming is fast sinking under the leadership of Mark Joseph and the Philippine Sports Commission is not making a move or waking up. Ang hirap gisingin ng nagtutulug-tulugan,” said Coseteng.
“The presence of corruption and the absence of a long-term programs are absolutely the main reasons why we’re not winning gold medals in SEA Games. Getting zero points in diving and no medals in water polo and synchronized swimming. Remember, SEA Games is supposedly just an easy job considering this is only an invita¬tional meet among the South East Asian countries,” she added.
The Filipino swimmers failed to win a single gold medal and ended up earning just two silvers and 11 bron¬zes. It was the third-straight edition that the team went home without a gold. In 2011 Palembang Games, they had a measly two-silver, five-bronze showing then followed it up with a more dismal four-bronze finish in the 2013 Games in Myanmar.
“Swimming is one of the sport disciplines where Filipinos are expected to excel but the PASA lacks an effective grassroots program. The records shows clearly that since 1986 when Mark Joseph, together with Ral Rosario Pinky Brosas, up to the present, we are zero medal in the Asian Games except when Ryan Papa won the bronze medal in 1998, who trained in the United States to end the drought,” said Papa.
“The membership issue that prohibits non-members to compete and the ‘no national tryout’ policy in selection process discourage upcoming swimmers. Nagugulat na lang ang swimming community kung sinu-sino ang ipapadala. May mga foreign names, this is definitely not right,” she added.
Papa also lambasted the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). “It’s also their [POC] fault. Kung alam nila ang selection process, alam nila na hindi rin mananalo ang mga foreign swimmers na yan because they have the power to deny Joseph’s recommendation since they are the one approving and sending entries to the organizers.”
Coseteng also stressed “the most at fault is the Philippine Sports Commission. They are aware of Joseph’s corruption, they know very well that Joseph has a criminal case filed for Child Abuse in Quezon City for depriving swimmers to compete in Malaysia, that PSC is fully aware that there was an information filed by the Ombudsman with regards to the 34 million direct payment made to Joseph by PSC given by Pagcor, during the Chairmanship under Efraim Genuino, hindi ba maliwanag na return to sender yan, binigay ng Pagcor under Genuino sa PASA- Joseph at binalik ulit kay Genuino – Trace College.”