The decision of 18 national sports associations (NSAs) to band together and collectively force a change in national sports leadership and in the Philippine sports system is sound and deserves public support.
First, it is the right thing to do in view of the national interest because of the persistent and precipitous decline of national sports performance in international competition. That has been the case under the dubious and long-running leadership of Mr. Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr. as president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC). With his autocratic decision never to surrender the post, he has doomed national sports to perennial failures and decline, consequently bringing embarrassment, if not shame, upon the nation.
Second, the move of the 18 NSAs is also the legal thing to do, because in the legal structure of the POC, it is the NSAs that collectively decide, by majority will, the personages who will lead and manage the POC as president or as chairman. Absent the majority will, any mover to unseat Cojuangco and his entrenched mafia will be challenged in court. The reformers should push through reform of the national sports system and sports leadership the legal way.
Third, the reform move is also strategically correct, because the reformers are moving in concert with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), which funds all activities and operations in our sports system, and also wants reform. With the PSC blessing this revolt in the POC, it will have a greater chance of success, and there will be a greater sense of solidarity among all Philippine sports, and among athletes and leaders alike.
Fourth, this reform effort is morally right, because there is every reason to believe that the POC has been infested by unethical practices.
That a father and his daughter occupy the two choicest positions in national sports is a case in point. There is absolutely no justification for this.
The fact that the POC is governed by a mafia that has not changed for over a decade and has kept recycling pseudo-sports officials who have never performed in office, is another case.
The fact that Cojuangco and his gang illegally deposed the legally elected leaders of NSAs in order to grab control of the associations is the final abomination. This way, they have been able to maintain a fraudulent majority in the POC. As long as impostor leaders are in national sports, national sports leadership will be a travesty in the country.
Sports reform will not succeed as long as responsible sports officials do not change the Philippines sports system root and stem.
Finally, we want to say that reform of the Philippine sports system is timely, because within two years, or in 2019, the country will be hosting the SouthEast Asian Games (SEAG).
Action now gives the country and our sports community time to prepare and prepare well.
Action now will enable us to find the best athletes who should represent our country and our people in the sports competition, in order to achieve collective success and honor.