Past and present sports officials called for the resignation Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr. during the country’s observance of National Day of Protest on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Coliseum.
Close to 100 sports leaders attended the rally led by former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Aparicio “Perry” Mequi and former Senator and now Philippine Swimming League chairperson Nikki Coseteng.
“Medyo makapal ang mukha at kapit linta, If there is an NSA (National Sports Associations) that is against Cojuangco, they will remove the recognition of that NSA. But if you are an ally of Cojuangco, you will be saved. They are very abusive,” said Coseteng.
Also in attendance were PSL President Susan Papa, Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) President Edgardo Boy Cantada, and Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) president Marcia Cristobal.
PSC Commissioner Ramon Fernandez held a simultaneous rally in Cebu attended by more than 300 athletes from the Visayas.
Fernandez said the country’s sports development has been in downward trend under Cojuangco’s leadership and it is time for the former congressman to leave his post and give others the chance to rule the POC.
“It is time for Cojuangco Jr. to step down. He is already 83-year-old,” said Fernandez, adding that the last year’s Olympic silver medal won by Hidilyn Diaz was not guided by Cojuangco’s leadership. “He is not responsible for Hidilyn’s success. It’s about time for Cojuangco to resign.”
Papa added that the POC should be ‘dissolved since Cojuangco Jr. is immovable’ as POC president.
“The way POC is running the sports, it must be dissolved outright,” Papa stressed.
Under Cojuangco, the country’s performance in the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) has continually deteriorated since 2007 when the PH won 41 gold medals in Thailand.
In 2009, the country managed to win only 38, 37 in 2011, 29 in 2013 and 2015 editions and 24 in this year’s meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Also under his watch, a number of NSAs were replaced namely Basketball Association of the Philippines (BAP), PDBF, PVF, Philippine Bowling Congress (PBC) and Table Tennis Association of the Philippines (TATAP).
BAP was replaced by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), PDBF by Philippine Canoy-Kayak Federation (PCKF), PVF by Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI), PBC by Philippine Bowling Federation (PBF) and TATAP by Philippine Table Tennis Federation (PTTF).
PCKF President Jonne Go, LVPI head Joey Romasanta, PBF president Steve Hontiveros and PTTF chief Ting Ledesma are known allies of Cojuangco.
“Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. is the worst POC president ever. He has no moral ascendancy to lead. So, to regain the glory of Philippine sports, Cojuangco must resign as POC president,” said TATAP vice-president Jose Ortalla.
Cojuangco was not available for comment as of press time.