PSC vows to resolve PH swimming issues

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Former Senator Nikki Coseteng CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Former Senator Nikki Coseteng CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Butch Ramirez said on Friday that the PSC would not fund national sports associations (NSA) that would not submit development plans and liquidation reports.

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“I won’t fund NSA who don’t give me a program and results. Wake up. If not, we’ll close the NSA. That’s simple because COA (Commission on Audit) will ask us why the NSA did not perform. If we continue to fund the NSA that do not perform, we might receive graft charges,” said Ramirez.

With regards to the NSAs that experience leadership problems, Ramirez asserted that he would tell Philippine Olympic Committee President Jose Cojuangco Jr. to resolve the issues.

“I will tell Peping (Cojuangco), you resolve that. You cannot resolve, I will not fund because the order of President Rodrigo Duterte is to unify sports. I cannot unify, I have to transit on my partner,” Ramirez added.

The PSC chairman also said that Cojuangco has to talk to Mark Joseph, the president of the Philippine Swimming Inc. (PSI), formerly known as the Philippine Amateur Swimming Association (PASA) to address the issue between PSI and the Philippine Swimming League (PSL), chaired by former Senator Nikki Coseteng.

“I have not seen the guy for a while. He must resolve that and listen also to Coseteng. They have to talk so that they (PSL) can stop their negative press releases because we will use our investigative powers. The PSC have not used for 26 years its investigative powers. We will investigate, then tell the public,” Ramirez said.

When asked how he would address the exclusivity issue being hurled against PSI, Ramirez proposed that PSI practice tolerance so that the NSA can also get the members from the PSL.

“For the sake of our country, can we create some democratization on tolerance,” he said.

However, Coseteng asserted “sports leaders have to recognize that there is no democracy in Philippine sports, especially in swimming.”

She also suggested that the PSC identify NSAs that are no longer contributing positively to the sports that they were supposed to develop.

“You must have an NSA for swimming that has a program—a development program. An NSA for swimming must have a leader that steps forward looking for strategy. A leader who’s not plain and simply dead wood—not just a dead wood—a decaying dead wood. For as long as this is the condition, how are you going to make any changes, how can you even talk to somebody who doesn’t exist practically?” Coseteng said.

She also called for unity, “Unity is based on justice – it cannot be based on aggravating others. Unity has to be based on the common goal and unity has to be based on justice. Any kind of injustice will never breed unity. And people who was calling for unity without justice is going to be just a voice in the wilderness,” Coseteng added.

In 2011, Coseteng and PSL President Susan Papa filed charges of graft and corruption for violations of the Forfeiture Law and Anti-Money Laundering Act against former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) chairman Efraim Genuino, former Pagcor president and chief operations officer Rafael Francisco, former Pagcor senior vice president Edward King, former Pagcor executive vice president Rene Figueroa, former Pagcor vice president Ester Hernandez, former Pagcor assistant vice president Valente Custodio, Ramirez, and Joseph for Pagcor’s alleged anomalous release of P37,063,488 to PASA from 2007 to 2009. The fund was supposedly intended to fund the training of PASA swimmers.

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