The government must disband POC – Coseteng



Republic Act No. 6847 is the law that created the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), laying down its powers, functions and responsibilities, among them the disbursement of funds for the development of sports in the country. Since the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) is receiving funds from the PSC, which is a government agency, the latter can dissolve the POC.

Under Section 4, Status of the Commission, it states that “The Commission shall have the same status as that of a governmental regulatory national agency attached to the Office of the President with the Chairman thereof being of the same level as a department undersecretary and the Commissioners that of department assistant secretaries.”

Therefore, PSC Chairman Wil­liam Ramirez is considered as the Department’s Undersecretary and Commissioners like Ramon Fer­nan­dez are treated as the Department’s Assistant Secretary.

The PSC is also regarded as the sole policy-making and coordinating body for all amateur sports development program and institutions in the Philippines.

While it is recognized that the POC is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), it must be emphasized however, that POC is a mere private and non-governmental organization.

All the national sports associations (NSAs) likewise are private organizations that are members of POC.

It is significant to note, just like any private corporation established and existing under the laws of the Philippines, the State, should act reciprocally in the concept of a good father of the family (bonus pater familias), if the private entity status is used to commit infraction or violate laws, to deprive the athletes of their constitutional rights or in anyway oppress athletes or individuals like in the case of the NSA for swimming. In the latter, the members of the swimming community have asked for the removal of Mark Joseph as Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSi) President, but the POC would not lift a finger against him because he is an ally.

The POC can be disbanded by the PSC because of the latter’s status as a governmental regulatory, national agency attached to the Office of the President with the purpose of protecting the right of individuals and national interest.

Moreover, the POC is clearly guilty of ill management and corruption.

Here is the plea of Senator Anna Dominique Coseteng in behalf of our young swimmers, their parents and coaches to PSC: “Moved by the call for change and transformation under this Administration of His Excellency, Rodrigo R. Duterte, the Philippine Swimming community has finally found their voices to unite and join this call. Now is the time to be heard. Listen to the young Filipino swimmers; their parents and coaches speak.

There are issues and considerations of transcendental and grave import in the swimming community urging articulation since, we assume, they are beyond your awareness and we are really concerned that great disservice may be caused to the national interest if these are submerged from your view.

Wittingly or otherwise, our government is injured by fraudulent practices and unremitting efforts to cheat. The country’s program for the development of swimming as a sport was not spared. Millions of Pesos are being drawn from government funds purportedly for the swimmers, only to be used for corrupt purposes. These funds are as much in need of protection as any other government money. To close our eyes to this prevailing situation is to condone frauds against the government treasury and to go against the interests of our young swimmers in particular, and the Filipino people and our country in general.

The man responsible for this act does not even have the saving grace of support from his constituency and being tolerated by the POC.

Mark Joseph’s ascent to the presidency of PSi has since been seriously questioned and rightly so, because it is bereft of any legal basis. But it matters little now that his assumption to the presidency of PSi is highly questionable. What is more important now is that his abuses and dishonest practices must be put to a stop, permanently. By falsely implicating FINA rules, his leadership is marred by arbitrariness, oppressiveness and official indiscretion: young swimmers were unjustly stripped of medals or accused of having fake Philippine passports; community swimming competitions were stopped and coaches seeking further education were threatened of suspension. Without belaboring the matter further, it is plain to us that he is not fit for the position, which in the first place he illegally assumed. He neither had the gifts of leadership nor possessed of the influence and moral force, which could solidify the swimming association to better and faster achieve out national goals.

The Office of the President, the Senate of the Philippines, the House of Representatives, the concerned agencies of the government, the PSC and among others, listen please to our supplication. We find it perilous to vest in someone, under the strong stimulus of personal ill-will and the hope of gain, the authority to lead the swimming association”.

To save Philippine Sports, disband the POC as well as corrupt and non-functioning NSAs.


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