The die is cast. Last Thursday, simultaneous rallies were conducted in Manila and Cebu in order to highlight the growing awareness for the ‘Peping Resign’ campaign. Led by sports figures Mon Fernandez and Doc Perry Mequi, the rallies were a great jumpstart to the move to finally wrest control of the reins of power from the mediocrity, the incompetence, and the lack of vigor that defined Peping and his hapless sports mafia. As more and more people become aware of the sad plight of our athletes, and the bleak future for our youth in general, leaders from different sectors of our society are slowly banding together to show Peping the door ever so painlessly.
Peping has been at the helm of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) since 2005. (Read: A Sad Day For Philippine Sports.) He is by far the longest reigning POC President since its creation in 1975. His reign has also proved to be the least productive, the most embarrassing. Here are the results of the SEA Games during his incumbency:
- 2005 (1st place) – 113 G, 84 S, 94 B
- 2007 (6th place) – 41 G, 91 S, 96 B
- 2009 (5th place) – 38 G, 35 S, 51 B
- 2011 (6th place) – 36 G, 56 S, 77 B
- 2013 (7th place) – 29 G, 34 S, 37 B (Read: Philippines Suffers Worst Ever Finish in SEA Games and Wrong Parameter of Success)
- 2015 (6th place) – 29 G, 36 S, 66 B (Read: Assessing the Phil Campaign in the 28th SEA Games.)
- 2017 (6th place) – 24 G, 33 S, 64 B
From the hallowed heights of the top spot in 2005, Peping has managed to drag us down to the depths at 6th place. At 6th, we are the lowest among the original members, which is also composed of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. We have even been surpassed by Vietnam, a new member which had just experienced the painful ravages caused by decades of war. At one time, we have even gone as low as 7th behind a financially-crippled Myanmar!
We are second only to Indonesia in population, which provides us a clear advantage in talent base. We are third in terms of GDP, which clearly tells us that financial resources should not be a problem to support our athletes. Where lies the problem? How do you explain those years when we sunk lower and lower until we became the butt of jokes among our Asean neighbors?
Peping’s team once again talked of a lofty 50-gold haul for the recently-concluded SEA Games. What did we get? We slid even lower, with only a 24-gold harvest. What happened? Cynthia Carreon, Peping’s Chief of Mission (COM) could only give a simple answer: “The athletes tried hard, but it happened that they couldn’t beat the others.” After the disaster, Peping simply shrugged it off and talked about preparing for the next one; as though it didn’t really matter to him that we didn’t hit our goal.
Peping and his sports mafia are all too old, too callous, and too blind to know the harsh impacts of these oft-repeated debacles. He fails miserably to understand that the regular acceptance of defeat and mediocrity is eating up on our people’s dignity and pride. It makes lackluster performance acceptable, and it portrays the Filipinos as a weak and corrupt people. Peping is so focused on saving his own image as POC head that he fails to realize that there is a bigger stake out there; and that is: the need to protect the country’s image.
What an irony! For a man who has fought Marcos for overstaying in Malacanang, and for allegedly abusing his position as President, here he is practically modeling himself after Marcos. People wonder how the Yellow Army now feel about Peping’s insistence on staying. There is clearly no more nobility in this fight, just plain and simple hypocrisy.
Peping can still salvage a measure of respect by resigning. But should he insist on staying, people will only see through the greed and lust for power. Hence, there will be great condemnation and shame should he opt to remain. Peping should save himself from the ignominy of being booted out. Resign now, and the sports world will still applaud him for his glorious sacrifice.
After 13 years in power, Peping’s evil empire is finally showing signs of cracking up. With calls for Peping to resign growing louder and louder, even the members of his inner circle are already trying to find their individual exit strategies to make themselves acceptable, once a new order comes in. Many NSA Presidents are keeping their cards close to their chests now, as a realignment of forces in the POC General Assembly is being discussed in whispers. Everyone is trying to find the right insurance ticket in order to survive the incoming storm. It is time to ‘call a friend’.
Peping and his evil empire will fall in infamy. It is just a matter of time. Who sinks with him and who stays remains to be seen. Who will remain to pick up the pieces? Who will take up the cudgels for the new order? Who will chart the new course for the new POC? We hope that the sharks are unmasked for who they truly are. We hope that the new group will have nothing but the best of intentions for the country and its athletes, and is ready to take on this noble undertaking.
May the Force be with us all.