PHILIPPINE sports officials on Monday criticized Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th for intervening on the sports affairs instead of concentrating on his legislative works and the proper use of his pork barrel funds.
Jose Cojuangco Jr., president of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) issued the statement in reaction to the recent pronouncement of Trillanes during the budget deliberation on the proposed 2014 budget of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) on October 30, that graft and corruption complaints were filed against the former and PSC chairman Ricardo Garcia before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Trillanes, was referring to the case filed by the Table Tennis Association of the Philippines (Tatap) through its Chairman, Jacinto Omilla Jr., against Cojuangco and Garcia for violating Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
According to the complaint the PSC released funds and issued checks to the group of Ting Ledesma who have been misrepresenting themselves as Tatap officers.
The release of funds was made despite a pending issue on the legitimate officers of Tatap, currently the subject of a court case in the Regional Trial Court of Manila.
“We find it utterly unfair for Sen. Trillanes to accuse POC President Jose Cojuangco Jr. and PSC Chairman Ricardo Garcia of allegedly recognizing and granting financial assistance to alleged bogus national sports associations [NSAs]. These statements beg the question of whether the senator is ignorant of the requirements for and the procedure in recognizing NSAs or he is feigning ignorance of the same,” the POC and PSC officials said in a statement.
According to them had the senator been more prudent in his pronouncements, he would have realized that the matter of recognizing NSAs does not solely lie in the hands of the POC president but also in the POC’s executive board and general assembly.
They also pointed out that the POC will not grant recognition to any NSA that does not comply with the strict requirements established by the POC.
The sports officials maintained that there is no truth to allegations that bogus NSAs were recipients of PSC funds unlike the fake non-government organizations that were allegedly used by some senators to channel their pork barrel funds
“The PSC exercises due diligence in disbursing funds to NSAs, thus it is utter falsehood for the senator to claim that some NSAs had pocketed public funds without proper accounting and expenditure,” they added.
Cojuangco noted that Trillanes should instead be concentrating in lawmaking and the appropriate disbursement of his pork barrel funds.