The POC recently released the list of 272 athletes that will comprise the Philippine delegation to the 2018 Asian Games to be held in August in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia. Lo and behold, despite the existence of a clear criteria for the selection of athletes to the prestigious sports competition, some spineless groups in the POC still insist in sending clearly non-qualified athletes to the meet.
The Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation (PCKF), despite performing miserably in the dragon boat events in the past SEA Games it participated in, has brazenly inserted a line-up of 27 paddlers to compete in the Asian Games’ Traditional Boat Racing competition. They will have the biggest and costliest line-up in the Philippine contingent. It will be noted that the PCKF had been (mis)representing the country in the SEA Games since 2011, after then-POC President Peping Cojuangco stripped the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF), the original national sports association for dragon boating, of its rightful place as the country’s legit national association for dragon boating. (Pls read: Restoring Dragon Boat. By Bill Velasco)
Previously, it was the PDBF which proudly represented the country in foreign competitions. Under the PDBF, the Philippines had become proud world record-holders in 2 premiere dragon boat events, making the country’s paddlers the toast of many competitions. This was before Peping’s devious move. Despite the PDBF’s sterling credentials as world record holders, despite the PCKF’s lack of accomplishments in the Canoe-Kayak field, despite the clear mandate of the International Dragon Boat Federation as the world governing body for the sport, Peping still continued his evil scheme of stripping the PDBF of its National Sports Association (NSA) status. (Pls read: The Travails of Philippine Dragon Boating).
After Peping’s dastardly act, giving control of dragon boating to PCKF, there has been a clear deterioration in the country’s dragon boat credentials. We used to lord it over the rest of our Asean neighbors, even raking in all 6 golds in the 2005 edition of the SEA Games. In 2011, the PCKF started representing the country in the bi-annual SEA Games. By the 2015 Singapore SEA, PCKF’s impostors could only muster a single bronze.
Despite misfiring with these duds, the POC continues to support the non-performing asset which is the PCKF. It will now send a 27-man crew which had not made a gold or silver in the past SEA Games, nor have had any sterling performance in a world or continental meet. What a waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned money once again.
This clearly manifests that despite the fact that Peping has been ousted as the POC President, he still has the Board stacked mightily in his favor. Thus, new President Ricky Vargas still cannot wield power over this bunch of puppets. (Pls read: A Bright New Day for Philippine Sports)
Vargas should have immediately asked for the courtesy resignation of the Executive Board after taking his oath as the POC President. This would have given him a truly fresh mandate to start anew. Instead, by going soft on the Executive Board which Peping owns, he is placed in a very difficult position. (Pls read; The Fight to Liberate Philippine Sports Continues)
Such is life.