Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fair Play: Yes Peping, the president should resign

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Feb 25 edition)
NOPE, this is not a political piece, this is, after all the sports section. But somebody forgot to tell that to Peping Cojuangco, one of the most hated sports figures in sports recently.

After all, he's the Philippine Olympic Committee chairman whose standard of sending sure medalists to international competitions has seen the Philippines to a new low finish.

And what has our dear ol' president been up to lately? Well, he's busy dabbling in his real expertise, pulling strings to get rid of his nephew in Malacañang.


Whether that is a good or bad move, is something for the opinion pages, but what is certain is this--a president of the POC has no business making such call. Who sits in Malacañang is none of his business, and he should focus on the task at hand, which is Philippine sports.

And if Peping thinks PNoy is doing a bad job in handling the state's affairs, a lot of people think Peping's stint has nothing been short of a disaster, and the state of Philippine volleyball epitomizes his back-dealing and high-handed interference.

If Peping wants to have a say who sits in Malacañang, then delicadeza dictates he should leave his post. Why? Because if it was the other way around, Peping can hide under the skirt of "no government interference" and be protected from any government moves to unseat him.

Besides, Peping got the POC spot because he supposedly got the ear of the PNoy, right? And wasn't his first move to get Ritchie Garcia the chairmanship of the Philippine Sports Commission? Assuring that the chair's loyalty will be to him?

Whether you agree with Peping's move to ask his nephew to resign is not the point here, the point is we have the president of the Philippine Olympic Council asking the Philippine president to resign. It's a new low in Philippine sports, even the time of Gloria and Erap, when demanding the president's resignation was the popular call, the POC heads didn't step over the line.

Peping has. And this grand old man of Philippine politics should also have the delicadeza to quit as the POC head.

And let Peping's stint be a lesson for all—never put an old politician to pasture in Philippine sports. We have enough trouble as it is without having an old politico as an added problem.

And if Peping can't wait for 2016, then let's not wait too for the Southeast Asian Games in June and ask this former politico to hand over his resignation. Unless he wants to wait for all his critics to do Philippine sports' version of Edsa at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, right?


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