A not-so-well known story is how the leadership of Table Tennis in the Philippines changed hands and ended up in the hands of another Peping Cojuangco crony.
In March 2008, the Table Tennis Association of the Philippines (TATAP) held a General Assembly meeting at the residence of then Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Peping Cojuangco in Dasmarinas Village, Makati City. A new set of officers was duly elected and recognized by the POC, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), and subsequently, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
Everything was fine until in September 2011, when the then TATAP President PSSupt Cesar Binag tendered his resignation.
Upon his resignation, the then Vice President Jose Ortalla Jr was supposed to assume the Presidency as a rule of succession. However, the POC recognized a TATAP trustee, John Rex Tiu, instead. His designation transpired without a proper election or qualification by the legitimate TATAP Board, a clear violation of both TATAP and POC by-laws.
However, by May 2012, the POC removed Rex Tiu without any reason and appointed Ting Ledesma as TATAP President. This move of placing Ledesma, who was not a TATAP regular or voting member, nor was he an officer or even a mere member of any table tennis club in the country, appointed as President of the country’s Table Tennis NSA, was simply preposterous!
In the next month, TATAP Chairman Jacinto Omila Jr filed a complaint at the Regional Trial Court of Manila for intra-corporate controversies versus Ting Ledesma, et al.
In 2016, knowing that they cannot win in court, Mr Ledesma and his cohorts hastily organized a new table tennis organization of their own. The Philippine Table Tennis Federation (PTTF) was born.
To hasten PTTF’s registration in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Cojuangco wrote an endorsement letter which claimed that the PTTF is the new NSA for table tennis. This was prior to Mr Cojuangco’s recommendation to the PSC and the ITTF!
Thus, it is clear that TATAP has not been validly stripped of its POC membership, in violation of the rules set forth by the POC. There was no ground for TATAP’s expulsion and TATAP was not given its right to due process. It is clear that Cojuangco has undermined the validity of the POC’s rules.
President Vargas and the new POC then should disqualify the PTTF. PTTF has failed to comply with several membership requirements as laid out in the POC’s By-Laws. The POC requirements include the holding of at least two (2) annual National Championships, and the publication of their intent to apply for POC membership. Neither of these minimum requirements, among others, were fulfilled.
When Cojuangco was at the helm of the POC then, dubious and newly-created sports associations would suddenly be accredited, while legitimate and long-standing sports organizations were disenfranchised and stripped of their NSA status.
This has caused so much dissension and division in many sports groups. Such too is the sad saga of Philippine Table Tennis. Let us join hands to set things straight. Join us as we push for reforms in Philippine sports. #ReformPhilippineSports