A Letter Appeal to the IOC

Dear Esteemed Members of the IOC,

Greetings from the Philippines.

With deep regret, we read your letter of June 29 addressed to the POC urging the Philippine sports leaders to get their acts together. To say the least, we find the letter alarming and unfair. While we are grateful for the concern to fix Philippine Sports, the proposed solution clearly shows it was suggested with a slant to favor the Cojuangco-Romasanta cabal which is keeping Philippine Sports hostage. We feel that you have passed judgement on the Philippine situation based on reports from the Cojuangco side, without getting better information from the ground. We feel that due process has once again been denied thru the machinations of persons who have developed close relations with senior IOC officials long time ago. We had hoped that you would come to see for yourselves the true situation on the ground before passing judgement.

We wish to advice you that people in the Philippines are getting tired of the tyranny of Cojuangco’s group. We wish to inform you that certain officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), led by POC 1st Vice-President Joey Romasanta, have cleverly manipulated ways to circumvent the POC General Assembly’s (GA) desire for a brand new slate to finally reunite Philippine Sports leaders. No less than the GA has accepted the resignations of several POC officials, making the positions of President, Chairman, 1st Vice-President, Treasurer, Auditor and two executive board members vacant. The POC GA likewise agreed to conduct the election on July 5 to fill up the vacant positions. The postponement of the election and the retraction of their resignations witnessed by the entire GA are but shameless attempts of these POC officials to disrespect the decision of the GA in order to protect their own interests. Their argument that their resignations were merely verbal and not binding is a lame and invalid attempt to disregard the POC constitution where the GA decision is supreme. It also clearly shows that these people have very little regard and will not honor their own words and deeds.

The designation of Joey Romasanta as acting POC president is likewise unacceptable. The Philippine Karatedo Federation (PKF), where Romasanta was president, was removed by World Karatedo Federation (WKF) from its membership because of corruption! Added to this is the fact that Romasanta’s volleyball federation is not recognized by its international federation, the FIVB. Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) where Romasanta is vice-president,  was not accepted as a full member of FIVB at the 36th FIVB Congress in Cancun, Mexico. Thus, Romasanta as POC president is simply untenable.

Romasanta has the clear tendency to lie and twist facts. The then POC President Ricky Vargas resigned in June 18 out of disgust over the wheeling and dealing in the POC. At that time, everybody knew that Romasanta was the Vice President of LVPI, POC’s recognized volleyball federation. With Romasanta’s PKF kicked out as an NSA, he was no longer qualified to be a POC President. However, out of nowhere, Romasanta suddenly claimed that Cayco had resigned in June 12, making him the President of the LVPI and qualifying him for the POC presidency after Vargas’ resignation. If the LVPI President Cayco had indeed resigned on June 12, a proper correspondence should have been sent to the POC by June 25 (the date of the GA meeting) and properly acknowledged by the same. Thirteen days and no one knew about it? No written notice, no verbal message, not even a simple phone call sent to the POC. Clearly, it is another brazen attempt to mock the POC By-Laws. We hope these ‘honorable’ people are willing to take a lie-detector test to prove their ‘resignation’ claim. Perhaps that will help get this issue to rest.

Over the years, the Cojuangco – Romasanta group has created so much damage to Philippine sports. You can see that in the embarrassment and the dismal performance of Philippine athletes internationally. Several national federations were illegally disenfranchised by their group. Cojuangco and Romasanta have installed their allies in the different national federations to keep themselves in power. There is unrest and great disunity in many sports associations. Many National Sports Associations (NSAs) are still cowering in fear, knowing that Cojuangco’s group could conjure ways to delist them from the IOC and the different international governing bodies. Amidst all these, charges of corruption and conflict of interest hound the Cojuangco – Romasanta group.

The 7th place finish in 2013 was the worst finish ever for the country in the SEA Games.

The 22nd place finish in 2014 was the worst finish ever for the country in the Asian Games.

It is ironic that the Cojuangco group fought Marcos for overstaying as Philippine President, yet here they are practically modeling themselves after Marcos. Equally ironic is the fact that while the IOC mandates National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to be detached from government due to perceptions of dirty politics, it is precisely within the POC where the stench of partisan politics is most unbearable. The Cojuangco- Romasanta partnership has simply taken advantage of the Olympic ideals to shield them from any local interference and perpetuate themselves in power.

We therefore request IOC to put a stop to the evil ways of Cojuangco, Romasanta and their allies. We ask IOC not to condone and support the maneuverings of the group which only aim to keep Cojuangco, Romasanta and their allies forever in power within the POC.  The Filipino athletes and people deserve better leaders who can take Philippine sports out of the abyss and sources of corruption. We hope that IOC remains firm in its commitment to good governance in sports.

Thank you.

Very Truly Yours,

Reform Philippines Sports Movement

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