This Sept 21st, Filipinos from different sectors will come together to express their solidarity to oust Peping Cojuangco from the Philippine Olympic Commission (POC). It is a long-overdue move to show support for our athletes and to save Philippine Sports in general.
Peping has been at the helm of the POC since 2005. His dismal record speaks for itself. He was lucky in his first year as the country played host to the SEA Games. Yet he cannot claim responsibility over the results as the efforts leading to this were made by the previous POC. But it has clearly been all downhill since he took over the reins of the POC.
2005 SEA Games – 113 Gold, 84 Silvers, 94 Bronze. Rank: 1st (Host)
2007 SEA Games – 41 Gold, 91 Silver, 96 Bronze. Rank: 6th
2009 SEA Games – 38 Gold, 35 Silver, 51 Bronze. Rank: 5th
2011 SEA Games – 36 Gold, 56 Silver, 77 Bronze. Rank: 6th
2013 SEA Games – 29 Gold, 34 Silver, 37 Bronze. Rank: 7th
2015 SEA Games – 29 Gold, 36 Silver, 66 Bronze. Rank: 6th; and now;
2017 SEA Games – 24 Gold, 33 Silver, 64 Bronze Rank: 6th
These figures will not lie. They are a clear indictment of Peping’s inutile leadership and the sad state of Philippine Sports today. We take a deeper look at the issues.
Peping’s hold over the POC stems from the fact that he has the support of majority of the National Sports Associations (NSAs) in the country. During the last election, he railroaded the proceedings by disqualifying the opposition led by Ricky Vargas (Boxing). Over the years, he solidified his hold over the POC by ensuring that cronies and loyalists are seated at the helm of these NSAs. He also came up with some clearly malicious moves to ensure his continued stay at the helm of the POC.
Among others, he removed the NSA status of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) and placed dragon boating under the Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation (PCKF) in 2011. Previously a perennial gold medal producer in the past SEA Games, dragon boating under PCKF has floundered and failed miserably. Scratch one anti-Peping vote there.
He usurped the leadership of Philippine Volleyball by propping up a puppet association in the Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc (LVPI). Heading LVPI is Joey Romasanta, a staunchly pro-Peping puppet who has very limited connection with the volleyball community. Add another pro-Peping vote there.
Peping suppressed support for foreign training and competition for athletes of anti-Peping NSAs, creating a sports mafia where only favored NSAs and athletes would be entitled to such. Thus, other NSAs were forced to lick ass.
In swimming, Peping’s lackeys continue to hold power despite clearly underachieving and perennial absenteeism. In soccer football, he tried to deny our football team the precious opportunity to compete and learn in past SEA Games despite the football association’s readiness to bankroll their own trips. In boxing, numerous foreign competitions and training opportunities were denied as well.
Peping has many dubious NSAs supporting him. Granted, there are international handball and soft tennis organizations, but you very seldom hear of any activity from the Philippine Handball Federation or the Philippine Soft Tennis Association, nor of their international counterparts. Just try looking at their websites. Both appear like bogus organizations with practically nothing to show except for their being proud voting members of the POC.
Pro-Peping NSAs are below. The red ones are the NPAs (Non-Performing A..holes) in the latest SEA Games. The blue ones performed creditably (per Medal count). The yellow ones were not included in the SEA program.
- Archery 12. Sepak Takraw
- Baseball 13. Silat
- Billiards 14. Soft Tennis
- Bowling 15. Squash
- Canoe-Kayak 16. Swimming
- Equestrian 17. Table Tennis
- Golf 18. Tennis
- Gymnastics 19. Volleyball
- Handball 20. Weightlifting
- Karate 21. Wrestling
- Sailing 22. Wushu
The anti-Peping NSAs are as follows. The same color coding applies.
- Athletics 10. Lawn Bowls
- Badminton 11. Muay Thai
- Basketball 12. Rowing
- Boxing 13. Rugby
- Fencing 14. Shooting
- Chess 15. Skating
- Cycling 16. Softball
- Football 17. Taekwondo
- Judo 18. Triathlon
Of the 24 pro-Peping puppets, 12 underachieved. Understandably, after the debacle, Peping tried to downplay everything and said that we should simply move on and prepare for the hosting as opposed to deliberating what went wrong. There is no sense of urgency, no shame in losing; simply meek acceptance. He is ready to absolve his mafia, lest he lose hold of his stranglehold on the POC.
It will be noted further that anti-Peping forces accounted for 79% of the gold medals, and a total of 55% of the total medal haul.
What common denominators do we find among the blue achievers? They are professionally run; they have proper support; they are active with their programs, particularly at the grassroots level.
Most of Peping’s NSAs are not properly run because his sports mafia has been obviously focused on keeping their lofty positions, as opposed to developing the potential of their athletes. To them, survival comes paramount, hence athletes’ support is not the priority. These NSAs then have no grassroots program, no reach-out to the provinces, no long-term plan to show.
Peping’s NSAs do not have the proper support because most private companies will not get involved with NSAs which have no clear program, display unprofessional conduct, and don’t know how to handle funds properly. Up to now, Peping’s mafia has not been able to account for the funds provided them from as far back as 2005. How can you trust them with handling the funds for the 2019 hosting?
After all is said and done, Peping stubbornly holds on to power. He doesn’t care about the country’s athletes, much less our country’s pride and dignity as a people. All he cares about is staying on in power. Despite his advanced age, despite the urgent need for new vigor and new direction, despite clearly being ostracized by a huge majority of the national athletes as manifested in Malacanang during the President’s recognition of the athletes recently.
An oft-repeated tale from Peping when he talks to the athletes is that sports leaders from other countries are full of admiration for the Filipino athlete. Because, as he claims, they know that the Filipino athlete has the determination and the will to fight, despite the inadequate support given to them. How sad that he believes this condescending bullshit and that he would like to sell the same patronizing tall tale to our own people.
The truth of the matter is that we have become the laughing stock in the region, looked upon by most as a weak people, with weak determination, and weak and corrupt leaders. A young colleague lamented this fact when she experienced the ridicule and the snide comments from her fellow conferees recently in Bangkok. For how can you explain our debacle, despite having a strong population base, and a relatively strong economy?
Peping has become so callous, so used to the debacles, that he has learned to accept them as a fact of life. Peping will continue to cover up for the mediocre performance of his NSAs, and they in turn, will ensure he stays at the helm of the POC. That is the sad state of affairs in Philippine Sports.
Come Sept 21st, let us all come up with one voice. Let us not be afraid to speak our minds, otherwise we will forever be slaves to Peping’s tyranny. Oust Peping! Whether you are in in Manila, in Cebu, in Davao or wherever you may be, let your voice be heard. Oust Peping! Talk to your friends, organize yourselves and do a rally in your area. Send us the pictures. Oust Peping! Talk to your sports leaders, your schools. Ask them to join in. Oust Peping! Talk to your NSAs, to your media friends. Oust Peping! Write a letter to your congressmen and other politicians to investigate the sports debacle. Oust Peping! Let us save our people from the ignominy and the shame that Peping has brought on us. The time to act is now.