An Open Letter to POC Prexy Ricky Vargas

Dear President Ricky,

You came out with guns blazing when you talked about an imperiled SEA Games recently. For the first time, you displayed a strong resolve to catch the bull by the horn, when you called for unity among sports officials. It is the kind of strong character we have been looking for when you took over, but sadly, we have rarely seen.

Calling for unity is one thing. Making it happen is another. If you think it will happen simply by waving a magic wand, sorry, but you’re no fairy godmother.

You have to get down from that throne and reach out to the peasants. Listen to their grievances; and get their feudal lords to sit with them – in front of you – to resolve those differences. Failing that, you will continue to thread a rocky, smelly path to oblivion. If you think those feudal NSAs will work to resolve those problems on their own, you’re way off the mark. They will not, for they will only resolve the issues in their favor. For they were themselves the main sources of the problem, after all.

So many things need to be done. You need to do an honest-to-goodness cleansing in the POC first. No amount of calling for unity will help the cause for Philippine sports if the same Peping mafia remains entrenched in the POC. It was their brand of favoritism, incompetence and corruption that created the fractiousness within the sports communities. Peping and his cohorts meddled in a big way with many sports associations such as volleyball, bowling, dragon-boating, swimming, table tennis, etc. You don’t have to look far for the evidence you need. Look at the past SEA and Asian Games, THESE ARE THE VERY SPORTS WHERE WE FAILED MISERABLY IN. These are the sports where the disagreements remain unresolved because you choose not to rock the boat.

Here are the results of recent Asian Games. Try looking for the 5 sports. All with ZERO medals.


“I don’t want to be involved in politics”, you say? But you already are! Like it or not, you already are. You think that sleeping with Joey Romasanta, Julian Camacho, Junnie Go,  and the rest is not politics? Stop being naive and get down from that cloud, Ricky. Very soon, you will not only lose the guys who were dreaming of reforms with you, you will also be dropped and vilified by Peping’s mafia the moment they see no more need for you.

Resolve the divism and disunity among the NSA’s now. Talk to your disgruntled athletes, find out what issues they have. Get the different groups to find an agreeable middle ground. Don’t just rely on Bachmann to give you perfumed lies about resolving unity issues, for he has not. He has not officially communicated with any of the displaced NSA’s with finality. Hence, there is no ’way forward’, as it is.

For sports that have unity issues that cannot be resolved quickly, have inclusive tryouts for all athletes, and independent or shared coaching and management handled by a non-aligned group.

It is time you really took matters in your own hands. You cannot continue making the PBA an excuse to not dip your fingers in handling the POC. You talked about the 5 different kinds of people in the expanded POC Board. Stop talking about it, and do something about it instead.

Revamp the POC board. They should have all given their courtesy resignation when you came in as President. They were created after Peping was proclaimed president anyway, hence you have a valid reason to call for a revamp, it being a consequence of the rigged presidential vote. You need a Board who will work with you, not undermine you. These guys have been doing nothing but try to preserve the status quo. You cannot allow them to hostage you. Remove the protectionists, bring in new guys who will help you.

Revamp the non-performing NSAs as well. We all know that some of these NSAs are for show only, to produce numbers in the POC election. Remove these ‘for-show’ NSAs now. And then call for an election in the non-performing sports. They need fresh new faces to lead them out of their rut. Make it a policy that in sports where no positive developments are demonstrated for 2 – 3 years, leaders will have to step down so that a new direction can be taken.

Remove Peping from the Board. The mere fact that he manipulated the past elections to suit himself should be enough ground to disqualify him from enjoying the privilege of sitting in the board as past president. This privilege should be suspended for a period of 3-5 years. His influence in the sports community needs to be exorcized for some time.

Get Mikee Cojuangco to resign her position as IOC member. The fact that she is clearly identified with a controversial figure in Philippine sports will render her decision-making and influence in IOC biased. You don’t need that. You need a guy who is supportive of your cause – or at the very least, unbiased – in the IOC. For delicadeza, she should be given another position in the IOC for the meantime.

We cheered and prayed for you in your campaign to wrest the POC presidency. We worked to get NSA’s to vote for you. We went to social media, to traditional media, to the streets to get people to understand the issues. We made noise to get the court’s attention. We believed in you, and in your fight to bring reforms to Philippine sports.

Champion your own fight, Ricky. Walk the talk. What major changes has the POC done for the athletes lately? What major issues have you resolved? What major issues NEED to be resolved? How do we resolve them? What is the POC doing wrong? How do we right them? Does the POC have the right people in the right positions? Which sports are not doing good? Why? Which sports are doing good? Why? (The charts above should give us a good picture.) Who are in charge of these sports? Is the present POC really ‘connected’ with the athletes? What other creative ideas do we have to make the POC dynamic and not Jurassic?

Time now is critical. Don’t just say it, Ricky. Do it!!! Now! May God grant you the clear resolve and energy to overcome the challenges that go with this noble endeavor.

For more on the POC, pls read:

Clash of Agendas

The Fight to Liberate Philippine Sports Continues

A Bright New Day for Philippine Sports

Unmasking the Philippine Sports Mafia

Please share this post, so that others may know the real score in Philippine sports.

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