The problem in swimming is the same problem bugging other sports discipline—corruption and abuse of authority.
Mark Joseph’s manipulation worked in swimming, thus other leaders in National Sports Associations (NSAs) followed the same system of exclusivity and wrongdoings.
This system could have been changed much earlier. All that was needed was an athlete to expose the twisted system. But others chose the easy path and thought only of themselves.
I can see the manipulation of the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSi).
Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh also understood what was happening. I and her parents Joan and Modj explained to Jasmine what is going on in Philippine swimming.
Jasmine chose to sacrifice for the sake of many. Her parents repeatedly declined to be recruited by the PSi.
The PSi is abusing its authority, coercing many swimmers to be a member and to follow the rules it imposed.
The Philippine Swimming League (PSL) sent a letter to PSC and POC, saying that the rules imposed by the PSi are unconstitutional, discriminatory and contrary to law.
The notion that the way NSAs operate is their own private business is not true. We cannot advocate despotism. NSAs are private entities but they are given public funds.
And the money allocated by the government is for all Filipino athletes, regardless of creed, belief, ethnicity or club membership.
Let us not destroy the dreams of young Filipinos athletes like Jasmine Mojdeh. We should lift them up, not crush them.
Everyone should be given a chance to qualify in the National Team.
She does not need to be a PSi member to qualify.She only needs two qualifications – she is a Filipino and she has the qualifying time. Better than that, Jasmine has broken the Philippine record.
Athletes should not be part of the National Team just because they have money.
This is the reason why we have been in the cellar in the past Southeast Asian Age Group Championships.
Despotism has no place in Philippine Sports.
PSL chairman Nikki Coseteng said: “Only if the greatest interest is to put dignity, integrity, compassion and excellence in Philippine Sports, we will not have a problem. Kung gusto lang gatasan ang sports program and budget, forget being righteous.”
If PSi president Lani Velasco does not share this stand, then we have a problem. We sued Mark Joseph for child abuse and malversation of funds.
Most likely, we will do the same to the current NSA president.
Let us heed the call of President Rodrigo Duterte and work for inclusive growth and development.