THE PHILIPPINE Swimming League (PSL) and the Volunteers Against Crime And Corruption (VACC) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Tuesday to work together in the fight against corruption in sports.
Former Senator Anna Dominique Coseteng represented the PSL while Dante Jimenez represented the VACC in the signing held at the Max Restaurant in Ermita, Manila.
Jimenez said that government funds worth millions of pesos have been wasted each year because of corruption in sports. He also said that millions of pesos given to different National Sports Associations (NSAs) remains unliquidated for several years now.
“These NSAs, even if they are private are receiving money from the government so they should be accountable,” said Jimenez.
Meanwhile, Coseteng said that unless corruption is eradicated, there would be no improvement in Philippine sports. She said that corruption is the reason why until now, the country is yet to win its first gold medal in the Olympics.
“There are many heinous crimes in sports. And the victims are our athletes and the parents, who are supporting their children to become good athletes,” said Coseteng.
As part of the agreement, the PSL will help in the gathering of information, including documentary and testimonial evidence, while the VACC will facilitate the filing of case in court against any corrupt sports official. The VACC will monitor the status, schedule of hearings and will also help in research to speed up the proceedings.
“The VACC will also conduct orientation and briefing to the members of the PSL regarding court watch, case monitoring and follow-up,” Jimenez added.
Jimenez said that he had already discussed with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte about their plans of extending the VACC’s scope of operation to sports.
“President ‘Digong’ and I were talking about it already and he was very happy about this advocacy. And with the President of the country with us, we can speed up also this advocacy to clean up Philippine sports. As soon as the cases are in court already, There will be no amicable settlement,” he said.
Besides Jimenez and Coseteng, also present in the signing of the MOA were PSL President Susan Papa, TV host Marissa del Mar as well as other officials of both organizations.
“We, in the PSL are thankful to the VACC for their action to remove corruption in sports. The success of this is not for the VACC and not for the PSL but for the country—for our athletes,” Coseteng said.