• Praying for the Holy Spirit to descend upon Philippine sports

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    SUSAN PAPA

    SUSAN PAPA

    (First part)
    It is about time for those who care and love Philippine sports to pray for the Holy Spirit to dictate instructions to its leaders.

    A divine intervention is imperative for Philippine sports to flourish, and change must begin at the start of the year.

    Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Commissioner Ramon Fernandez, a fellow Asian delegate during the 7th Asian Games in Teran, Iran, has always been an inspiration for his bravery to stand up for what is right concerning issues in Philippine sports.

    It brings pain to remember how the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) can just remove a national sports association (NSA) and replace it with another allied association like what happened to the Philippine Dragon Boat Team. The latter represented and won gold medals for the country in International Dragon Boat tilts.

    The many conflicts in Philippine sports can be traced to how the POC exert its influence on the NSAs.

    It is good to examine how the POC came about.

    In 1929, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF) as the National Olympic Committee (NOC) in the Philippines.

    The First Filipino president of the PAAF was President Manuel L. Quezon, he manned the post from 1916 to 1935.

    After Quezon, the following ascended to the PAAF top post: Jorge Vargas (1936-1955), Antonio de las Alas (1956-1968), Felipe Monserat (1969-1970) and Ambrosio Padilla (1970-1976).

    In 1975, the creation of the Department of Youth and Sports Development abolished the PAAF and the Philippine Olympic Committee replaced it.

    It was then that the POC became in-charge of the country’s official representation to international multi-sports competitions under the backing of the IOC.

    Since 2005 to present, Jose S. Cojuangco, Jr. is the president of the POC.

    In swimming alone, the problems can be traced to the many questionable policies of the Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSi). It is no surprise that its president Mark Powell Joseph, has a criminal case for child abuse filed by Paul Jerome in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Quezon City. Joseph posted bail for his temporary liberty while on trial.

    Another case against Joseph was also filed in the Office of the Ombudsman, which was already forwarded to the Sandigan Bayan. A warrant of arrest was issued and Joseph has to post bail for his temporary liberty.

    All of these have been tolerated by the POC until now.

    The PSi is being run using the policy of “divide and conquer”.

    Presently, the POC has the authority to accredit athletes competing in the Olympic Games, Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games, with the funding coming from the PSC.

    Let me remind you that the POC Preamble states, “We, the National Olympic Committee of the Philippines, an organization belonging to the Olympic Movement, duly represented by the undersigned, hereby undertakes to respect the provisions of the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code and to abide by the decisions of the IOC.

    We, undertake, in accordance with our mission and role at national levels, to participate in actions to promote peace and to promote women in sport. We also undertake to support and encourage the promotion of sports ethics, to fight against doping and to demonstrate a responsible concern for environment issues.”

    However, the POC is acting in contradiction to the aforementioned.

    The swimming community prays that the Holy Spirit dictates the actions of the PSC.

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