Saturday July 21, 2018

Limpag: Pressure on Peping

POC president Peping Cojuangco has been silent lately, but not his critics or those who want to see him out of office, a number which is growing by the day.

After leading a Sept. 21 rally that called for his ouster, PSC’s Ramon Fernandez--who has been releasing his own exposes against Peping in his social media account--has asked the Commission on Audit to look into the financial assistance released by the previous PSC board to the POC.

That was the time, of course, when Peping was the king of Philippine sports, controlling both the POC and the PSC via Ritchie Garcia, whom he managed to get appointed through his nephew in Malacañang.

That’s just in one front.

In another front, there’s Ricky Vargas, the one who should be the next POC president if not for the masterful maneuvering by the POC Comelec that had the boxing chief disqualified to run.

“I have not changed my original stand on the need for leadership change. That said, we must effect change in an orderly, legal and unified manner,” he said in a press statement issued recently.

Yes, the keyword there is unified. At least for me. After 13 years of Peping’s rule, it’s about time the stakeholders of Philippine sports say in one unified voice, “Enough.”

In a recent interview, Peping said the problem in Philippine sports is the lack of a national training center, a statement that shows how big a failure the POC leader is.

Why? He’s been singing the same tune in his first year of office.

But I don’t think that’s the biggest problem in Philippine sports. The problem has always been a lack of vision or the lack of innovation.

Take Peping’s stance for question; they want a national training center so all the best athletes of the country can train in one place, Manila, but one Cebuana has shown that that doesn’t have to be the case, right?

In the 13 years that Peping has been lamenting the absence of a national training center, why couldn’t the POC establish regional training centers in existing sports centers? Why didn’t the POC instruct the NSAs to spread out, go to the countryside and discover, nurture and develop talents?

That would have taken an innovative approach but sadly, in the past 13 years, the only innovating that I saw in the POC was on the election process.

So yes, I hope the COA and Vargas move will lead to change in the POC leadership. If they aren’t willing to change, then we shall force the POC to change.