MALVERSATION complaints were filed against Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and other officials of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the release of government funds to a bogus National Sports Association (NSA).
Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, during the budget hearing on the proposed 2014 budget of the PSC, was the one who informed Ritchie Garcia, PSC chair, that complaints have been filed against him for allowing the commission to be a rubber stamp of Cojuangco.
“I just like to inform the committee that just this morning I filed a malversation case in the Ombudsman against Chairman Ritchie Garcia, Mr. Peping Cojuangco and some other people in relation to the release of PCS funds to bogus NSA,” Trillanes told the committee Wednesday.
Trillanes however was not able provide copies of the compliant to the media, but according to him the PSC has become a rubber stamp of Cojuangco, the uncle of president Benigno Aquino 3rd, and that they must be stopped.
According to Trillanes, Cojuangcom, as president of the POC is the one who decides which NSA will be recognized and if there is an existing recognized NSA which he doesn’t like, he will form a new NSA to replace it.
Garcia in response to Trillanes statement told the Senate committee that he will answer the allegation in the proper time adding that he is not aware of any malversation of public fund committed by his PSC.
He however maintained that the PSC have been releasing funds to NSA that are recognized by the POC and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as stipulated in the Republic Act 6947 the law that created the PSC.
But the senator brushed aside Garcia’s explanation and insisted that PSC cannot wash its hands on the matter because it is fully aware of the Cojuangco’s practice in choosing NSAs.
At the same time Trillanes also advised Garcia not to release funds to the particular NSA which have been the subject of malversation complaint at the Ombudsman.
Trillanes noted that he recently warned Garcia not to release funds to the subject NSA but the PSC chair did not listen to the senators warning.
“Those funds were basically pocketed by people that Peeping Cojuangco recognize they did not conduct tournaments, they overcharged the PSC and you willingly gave them money so you (Garcia) will have to answer for that,” the senator stressed.
Trillanes in a separate interview said that it is time for those sports officials are held liable for their actions.
“These people are bullies and someone should stand up against them I just hope this (complaint) will lead to something like a total change in how sport is being run in the country,” the lawmaker added. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA